Do Bank Boards Need Banking Experience?

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David Reilly says yes. The Bloomberg columnist crunched some numbers and estimates that "only about 15 percent of directors have banking experience at the 10 largest U.S. commercial banks by assets" (and just over a third if you include backgrounds in investing, accounting, insurance, real estate and slinging crack-rock, which helps Goldman's rate considerably). Apparently having people on the board who knew what was up could've helped us avoid the current situation we've got on our hands (though the presence of people like Bobby Rubin at Citi taint that theory slightly). Moving forward, we need to stack these things with guys who will understand when to ask Ken Lewis "No, seriously, WTF?" (just after he hastily overpays for a chain of biker bars without telling anyone) and rough him up accordingly (Reilly: "if you're in the business of making sausage, it pays to have some butchers on hand").

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