Thursday, October 23, 2008

I was wrong

"I was wrong."

Those words are rarely heard, especially in Washington. But earlier this year, I attended a breakfast meeting with Larry Summers, former Secretary of the Treasury and President of Harvard University. The title of his talk was something along the lines of "Three Significant Areas Where I Was Wrong." Larry is not a modest guy. But his talk made a big impression on me. It showed that he cared about the facts and about the truth, and that he was willing to change his mind based on evidence.

Today, Alan Greenspan joined Larry:

“I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms,” Mr. Greenspan said.

A willingness to change one's mind based on the evidence, and not on ideology or preconceptions, is something we need a lot more of in this world.