The Big Ideas: Firing CEOs, government cronyism, and the euro crisis of yesteryear

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Why do some CEOs survive while others get canned? Barclays’ Bob Diamond was ousted almost immediately after the Libor scandal, while Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein remain in place. William D. Cohan in Bloomberg View says that’s because regulators in the UK are much tougher on accountability and capital requirements than their US counterparts. Also notable: Mary Schapiro, the chairwoman of the SEC, was given a $9 billion parting gift when she left Finra, whose board is made up of Wall Street execs.

Government: Stop hiring your BFFs. Charles G. Koch in The Wall Street Journal calls for the end of corporate cronyism. “Because they have the advantage of an uneven playing field, crony businesses can drive their legitimate competitors out of business.” By restoring order, the US economy will rebound and government officials will lose their undue power.

Europe’s actually been in crisis for more than a century. Fabio Liberti in Le Monde diplomatique explains the importance of the Council of Europe, which has been grappling with the question of integration since the early 20th century. Now especially, the neutral body’s focus on human rights and democracy—important threads throughout Europe’s history–becomes especially relevant. “It is becoming harder to bridge the gulf between populations in crisis, searching for a meaning in a globalised world, and a Union perceived as distant, technocratic, illegitimate and undemocratic.”