“Barclays banker Hugh McGee wants son’s teacher fired for ‘sleazeball’ comment”

The Telegraph today has a story that reveals much about what is wrong with childrearing and the investment banking industry today.

A teacher at a Houston private school allegedly made some remarks about the financial crisis which were overly broad and in bad taste. Specifically, the claim is that an 11th grade teacher said:

that somehow both Lehman and Barclays made a bunch of money on the Lehman bankruptcy, and that all investment bankers were ‘sleazeballs’ and dishonest”.

Well, assuming this quotation is accurate, neither Lehman nor its employees did; that part is 180 degrees wrong. But the bit re Barclays is close to the mark. Barclays scooped up the US broker-dealer (and no US b-d has ever gone bankrupt) on terms better than it was negotiating before the firm failed (and Barclays competitors were upset even at that possible deal being too favorable to the British bank, since it was doing the “good bank” part of a “good bank/bad bank” deal, and an industry consortium was funding the “bad bank”).

So it is correct to say that Barclays did well out of the Lehman BK.

Now to the general question of investment banker ethics. I left the industry more than two decades ago, even though I continue to consult to it, and conduct was better then (it noting else, image counted for more, and the investment banks for the most part had recently been partnerships, so some of the old habits were still in place, and one was a deep-seated concern about liability). Although it was not the reason I left, no one even then would dream of holding up investment bankers as models of ethical behavior. I had a well-meaning client pull me aside and tell me I had to quit caring whether the deals I was teeing up made sense, it put me at a competitive disadvantage (and mind you, I was working mainly on the buy side).

A few random more contemporary sightings. I happened to speak to an investment banker today (and I had not seen this article then) who volunteered, “You have to be able to compromise your ethics to be in this business.” I had another helpful contact remark, “I was part of the problem” (and he meant the practices that caused the meltdown).

In my book, ECONNED, I describe how the industry has become systematically predatory, and describe at some length how that has come to pass.

So I am sympathetic with the teacher’s point of view, but making broad-brush, unsupported and not fully factual charges against an entire industry is poor judgment. How serious a failing is that? Well, an offended parent wants to exact vengeance not just on the teacher, but on a few bystanders too. From the Telegraph (hat tip reader Albert):

Mr McGee, who is Barclays Capital’s global head of investment banking, penned a rambling five-page letter to the board of trustees of Houston’s Kinkaid School, asking that the teacher and two other staff members be fired.

In the letter, Mr McGee, who is alleged to have an eight-figure salary, claims that history teacher Leslie Lovett has a “leftist invective” which “is neither accurate nor part of the approved curriculum”….

His son, apparently with “tears in his eyes” went on to defend his father, saying he had been “working around the clock trying to save 11,000 jobs and that she had absolutely no idea what she was talking about”….

Mr McGee now wants Ms Lovett, headmaster Donald North and upper school principal Michael Saltman, to be fired. The banker was also angered because his son, quarterback in the school’s American football team, was allegedly told he and his teammates were not allowed to dress up as cheerleaders to perform a song-and-dance skit at a pre-game rally.

Yves here. OK, the teacher was a jerk or a fool, take your pick, but McGee is a horse’s ass. When I was a kid, I had teachers abuse me in far more persistent and meaner-spirited ways than this apparently tender boy did (since when is an 11th grade boy reduced to tears in general, and defending his father in particular? Most kids that age are plenty ambivalent about their parents) and no one would have dreamed for asking for three resignations over that. But now protecting children’s delicate psyches is taken seriously, that’s why the dubious claim of the boy being on the verge of crying is thrown in.

And let us face it, would these charges get anyone this upset unless they had some plausibility? If the teacher said, “Investment bankers all have cloven hooves and engage in ritual sacrifices of kittens” the boy would have simply regarded the teacher as nuts and said so. The industry IS disreputable, deservedly so; the only element that is debatable is whether all its members are, or merely a pretty high percentage. And the son has no objective basis for evaluating where his father sits on this spectrum. Moreover, McGee went from a senior job at Lehman to a senior one at Barclays. So McGee might have interpreted the teacher’s comment about Lehman employees making money as a result of the bankruptcy as a personal attack. And throwing the football skit in was a big tactical error. People do not get their way all the time; that’s life, but McGee thinks he can dictate to the school on behalf of his son and his buddies.

But dear readers, take heart. If McGee wins, he will surely lose. Even with the economy in the crapper, top colleges have vastly more applicants than they have admission spots. This row will become even more visible if McGee were to prevail. Schools do not have to disclose their admission decisions. I imagine quite a few would be loath to take the child of someone who is so quick to go to the nuclear option when he has been crossed. If the boy is a strong candidate, he should secure a spot regardless, but it isn’t hard to imagine that this little stunt will restrict his choices.

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  1. IF

    Private school, huh? Even Howard Hughes had to pay for the Desert Inn hotel before he could do with it as he pleased. In any case, this is a good reason as to why to tenure teachers. Mr. McGee is not forced to send his kid to this particular private school.

    But what makes you think colleges know whom they are accepting?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Note I said if McGee prevails. This would become a cause celebre in educational circles. How many McGees coming from a private school in Houston are there, exactly? If the kid were younger, this would be largely forgotten by the time he was a senior, but if this develops a life of its own, it will be front burner when the boy is applying to college.

      1. attempter

        And he’s the quarterback? Should be easy to identify.

        That’s some quarterback – cries because his crook daddy was criticized and because he can’t wear a dress.

      2. charcad


        You actually think the elite Modern Academy would refuse an “eight figure” applicant on the basis of some sort of principle? Even after 8 & 9 figure callers start reaching out to touch the regents, Deans et al? I beg your pardon. This is The Ivy League of Larry Summers, ex of your alma mater.

        This is why I love this blog. “Naked Capitalism” is such a misnomer. From time to time you have this marvelous sense of Yankee New England Girl Scout innocence that peeks through. It constantly puts you conceptually into a Norman Rockwell painting. I see you busily selling your G/S cookies, working as a candy-striper once a week at the hospital and a virgin who won’t even allow herself to be felt up on a major date.

        The more likely outcome is examples being made of anyone refusing this kid. i.e. they’re most likely to join the rest of the unemployment line wondering where Obama’s stimulus jobs are.

        1. Yves Smith Post author


          You aren’t up on the application stats for Ivies these days. Harvard has more than ten applicants for every slot. And plenty have money, remember the top 1% hasn’t suffered like the rest.

          Even though parents these days are high maintenance, McGee went overboard. Why would a school want to admit a kid whose parent has made known he is trouble? And I said this would LIMIT the boy’s choices (yes someone will admit him) only IF McGee goes further and does get someone fired (particularly if it goes beyond the teacher).

          1. Drew Birenbaum

            “But dear readers, take heart. If McGee wins, he will surely lose. Even with the economy in the crapper, top colleges have vastly more applicants than they have admission spots. This row will become even more visible if McGee were to prevail. Schools do not have to disclose their admission decisions. I imagine quite a few would be loath to take the child of someone who is so quick to go to the nuclear option when he has been crossed. If the boy is a strong candidate, he should secure a spot regardless, but it isn’t hard to imagine that this little stunt will restrict his choices”

            I highly doubt this will be the case Yves. We are talking about a star athlete at a well respected, academically competitive private school. Whose parents are well connected, incredibly affluent (to say the least), and potentially very large future donors. I just don’t see this incident having those type of consequences for the student.

          2. Myles SG

            Well, the way it usually goes in prep schools is that if a kid messes up and fails to get in decent, there is a risk of the school being perceived as being not sufficiently aggressive on behalf on behalf of the kid, which creates doubt with donors and so on. The way to do it is that the more high-profile and hopeless the kid is, the more the school has to do to back him up. This isn’t NYC day preps, where the schools can do mostly whatever they want.

          3. Yves Smith Post author

            I have no idea how good this private school’s football team is. “Star athlete” is going far if this is a small school. And it may play only against other smallish schools. Your are going beyond the data presented here.

          4. Vinny G.

            Well, he can always go to a community college in the neighborhood. This way he can live at home, and observe his papa closeup how he steals and plunders this nation blind, and thus learn important life skills from him. And, I’m sure daddy has a house large enough to accommodate the wildest ecstasy parties that junior will likely throw every weekend for his hooker and male prostitute buddies.


        2. don

          Yves said nothing incorrect, and she put her point across. If what she predicts doesn’t happen, at least she is pointing out what SHOULD happen. All while staying within “Girl Scout” ethics. Well done!

          I wouldn’t call a boy who cries in that situation well qualified for a top school. I just think he’s missing something that I would consider important in a future leader in society. There are many excellent applicants without this deficiency. If schools want to admit such an applicant because of his parents’ position, they should know that is what they are doing and have to admit it to themselves.

          As for his father, it’s too late to do anything about him. He already has lots of money.

      3. Myles SG

        Also that if he was to be recruited this wouldn’t matter at all, as then it’s the coach who decides his admissions, not the school.

  2. dimitris

    The teacher is, for practical purposes, correct. IBs’ net contribution to the world is that of effective, antisocial, dangerous sleazeballs.

    Is there a way I can send her a check?

    1. charcad

      Is there a way I can send her a check?

      I expect this will reach her:

      Leslie Lovett
      c/o The Kinkaid School
      201 Kinkaid School Drive
      Houston, TX 77024

  3. Francois T

    Mr. McGee should be ashamed of his behavior. What kind of example is he giving his own son by reacting like that?

  4. SA

    I’m only surprised he didn’t demand the death penalty for the crime of lèse majesté.

    The bit about the kid defending his father working frantically to save 11K jobs is absolutely hilarious.

    I went to Yale years ago with people who went into banking and trading. If Wall St didn’t exist, most of them would be wholesaling heroin.

  5. Skippy

    Jeez, salesmen are a touchy bunch, quick fire up the lawyers pronto and start a disinformation campaign (old school chum working for top MSM rag).

    Poor kid thought he had problems before, stigma anyone, daddy to the rescue syndrome.

    Skippy…Vinny dads got the bucks to pay top self treatment…give um a bell, this kids hole future is at RISK!

    1. Vinny G.

      Hey Skippy,

      To hell with that brat. They’re all messed up. Entitled, impertinent, and selfish. You should see what assholes I have to put up with in my classes. I’ve lost all compassion for American kids.

      This is why I’m not going to raise my daughter in this country. She’ll be a Greek girl, respecting her parents, and with solid traditional values.


  6. Finbar McTaters

    My wife works at a bulge bracket firm, so our social circle includes a number of her co-workers. I always wonder if these individuals were always such nimrods, or the industry turned them into high maintenance divas.

  7. DownSouth

    People in the United States, and especially benighted souls like Hugh McGee, live in a bubble-world. In this hermetic world, insulated from reality, he and those of his ilk take a wrecking ball to civil society, and then expect civil society to coddle and pander to their arrogance and stupidity.

    While this may work in the short run, in the long run, it is a formula for disaster.

    The bad part is that these benighted souls like McGee are most frequently not the ones who pay the price for their own obtuseness. More often it is the innocent who pay.

    Following are links to fotos of two young men about the age of McGee’s son who recently were kidnapped and murdered in Mexico City:



    Fernando Marti was 14 years old. He was the son of a high-profile businessman who owns a nationwide chain of sporting goods stores and gyms. He was kidnapped by an organized crime organization commanded by an assistant Mexico City chief-of-police. He was abducted while on route to school. His badly decomposed body was found 53 days later in the trunk of an abandoned car.

    Marti’s driver and body guard were shot and left for dead. The body guard, however, survived and was able to tell what happened. He recounts that a minimum of 15 uniformed police set up a roadblock and directed the BMW in which Marti was traveling onto a side street. There the tree—driver, body guard and Marti–were abducted and taken to a private residence. The driver and body guard were shot and their bodies dumped on the street. Miraculously, the body guard survived.

    Marco Antonio Equihua, called “Kiwi” by his friends, was 17 years old. He was the son of a small-time merchant who owned a retail business in one of the local markets. He was en-route to his high school using public transportation when he was abducted. His body was found two weeks later in the trunk of an abandoned car, even though his parents had paid the ransom that had been requested.

      1. Vinny G.

        Great pictures — thanks.

        I work in Chicago, and over the past 3 years I have seen an explosion in homelessness. It used to be mostly mentally ill Vietnam vets on alcohol or other drugs, but now you see more and more elderly, and many older women that look like yours and my grandmother. And this is Obama’s city, lest we forget.

        A nation as malignant as to marginalize such large portions of its own population just so that animals like this McGee can earn 8 figures, will not go on much longer. This country has become a cancer for the world, and like all cancers, it will be identified as such by the immune system, and destroyed. There are invisible laws and forces operating that eventually purge evil from the world.


  8. trader0

    Let me shed a little light on Skip McGee since I attended jr and sr high with him.

    We were never “friends” but I got a good sense of his basic
    makeup and I don’t think that changes over time.

    Skip was not only brilliant but extremely competitive. In high school I heard from someone that he liked football because he liked to “hit.”
    He has achieved his position, no doubt, through a unique combination of brilliance and ability. In short, Skip deserves whatever rewards he gets. I doubt he was handed anything other than a great education.

    That being said, Skip was one of the most decent people I ever met. I never heard him say a bad word about anyone publicly.
    Perhaps I am somewhat opinionated on all the negative comments about Skip that have been in various reports,
    but the main reason I liked Skip is that I could cheat off him with wandering eyes. I doubt he realized it.

    Kinkiad is a rather exclusive and very expensive private school that you cannot get into without being very smart. I would expect the teachers to not be making unsupportable statements.
    I had a social studies teacher in junior high that said when you fo to a bank to borrow money, if you show them a “good deal” they will try to steal it from you.

    I’d put the teacher’s statements in that category.

    1. DownSouth

      I think if one takes a look at the full text of the letter McGee wrote, one begins to get the full sense of just how “brilliant” and “decent” a guy he really is.

      McGee begins by setting the tone, channeling Richard Nixon:

      I am sad that things have gotten to the point they have at Kinkaid but feel I must speak up on behalf of the “silent majority” before the situation gets to a point of no return.

      Could it be that the “brilliant” Skip McGee is ignorant of just how loaded a phrase “silent majority” is?

      Well no. So that there’s no misunderstanding, McGee’s next statement clears the air, leaving absolutely no doubt the tradition he believes he is operating within:

      I submit to you that the values, methods, beliefs and actions of the current Administration are not in synch with those of the majority of your students, families, alumni, with the original charter of the school, or with the views of this Board. So this letter is about much more than a cancelled pep rally—it’s about taking back control of the Kinkaid School.

      As Wikipedia explains: “The silent majority is an unspecified large majority of people in a country or group who do not express their opinions publicly. The term was popularized (though not first used) by U.S. President Richard Nixon in a November 3, 1969 speech, where it referred to those Americans who did not join in the large demonstrations against the Vietnam War at the time, who did not join in the counterculture, and who did not enthusiastically participate in public discourse or the media. Nixon along with many others saw this group as being overshadowed by the more vocal minority.”

      McGee then takes aim at “The Teacher.” Here he’s targeting Ms. Leslie Lovett, the “Head of our Diversity Committee,” whose “leftist invective is neither accurate nor part of the approved curriculum.”

      It was the outspoken Ms. Lovett who, besides making some rather unflattering comments about investment bankers, also torpedoed the younger McGee’s chances to perform in drag at a pep rally. He, along with other seniors on the football team, lost their shot in the spotlight when Ms. Lovett complained of “negative gender stereotyping” and the skit was cancelled at the last moment.

      “Ms. Leslie Lovett is regularly ranked among the least desired teachers,” McGee lashes out. How does he know this? Why, from the “parent ‘whisper circuit.’”

      McGee concludes on a Jerry Farwell note, sounding a lot more like the muscular and highly vocal moral majority—Ronald Reagan’s Godly foot soldiers–than Nixon’s silent majority:

      In our rush to be “politically correct,” we have become obsessed about pacifying even the most extreme of views—even if they are far from representative of the core values and character of Kinkaid families and alumni…

      Why is a married, heterosexual coach considered an oddity at Kinkaid? Why is a gay female coach telling high school girls on her team that she was disappointed in them for belonging to the spirit club (SOK) and that by doing so they are just pandering to the football team?…

      I think the Board of Trustees has been too passive as the school has shifted farther and farther away from its core values.

      This isn’t the first time McGee has gotten into a pissing match with Kincaid:

      We pulled our oldest child (Katie) from Kinkaid years ago due to concerns over the middle school experience, and she subsequently flourished at St. Johns (she is now a senior at Princeton).

      One is left wondering why, if McGee already had such a bad experience with Kincaid, he would choose to send another child there. Could it be that McGee also had issues with St. Johns? Could St. Johns have refused to accept little John Edward because they wanted to avoid problems with his father?

      1. don

        Well, I started out not liking this whole family. But I’m usually up for getting rid of the “diversity committee” and assorted homosexual pressures. So our champion doesn’t look so great either.

        There’s nothing homosexual, or smelling of a diversity committee, about naming the IBs as thiefs. It’s too bad that it took the head of the diversity committee to do it. We need a better spokesman or woman.


    2. Bubblisimo Gerkinov

      Trader O – you are a moron.

      In your attempt to defend McGee, you destroy your own credibility by admitting that you cheated at school.

      Mr. McGee should hope that no more character witnesses such as yourself step forward, but somehow I surmise that you and your ilk are the only ones who will come to his defense.

    3. Vinny G.

      He liked to “hit”, huh?

      Did you know that physical violence is one of the diagnostic criteria for Antisocial personality Disorder? They are also called psychopaths and sociopaths.

      Did you also know that most psychopaths also present a facade of goodness to the rest of the world in order to be better criminals? Sounds like you bought into his phony image.

      And, one more thing. He allowed you to cheat off of him simply because he did not see anything wrong with the idea of cheating. Another diagnostic criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder.

      Sorry, but your Skip looks like a psychopath to me. And I worked in a prison at one point, and saw many, many people just like him.

      And, by the way, I’m sure Bernie Madoff did well in school too. And he is about as antisocial as they come.


  9. i on the ball patriot

    Let me shed a little light on Skip …

    Elite, immoral, crooked, pampered, scum bag beneficiary of aggregate generational corruption — that has grossly tilted the playing field and exploited and enslaved billions around the planet — lashes out against house slave that tells it like it is.

    Fuck you Skip and all of the corruption you rode in on.

    Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

  10. Siggy

    The boy’s in tears? Sounds a bit over the top. Fire the teacher? That’s a bit over the top too. An apology and a correction would be appropriate. If he can’t get that, remove the boy from the school and try another.

    This does demonstrate the degree of hubris that exists within the financial sector. As to the boy, he’s a potential problem because the father is a problem. That fact helps to explain the willingness of the fiancial sector to deal in trash paper not infrequently to the detriment of the clients the industry is intent on serving; perhaps that should end ‘fleecing’.

    1. don

      The boy should do his next research project to prove or disprove the teacher’s assertion. Isn’t he supposed to be able to do a competent analysis after his years of education, rather than cry and demand that the teacher be fired?

  11. craazyman

    We’ve come a long way from “Leave it to Beaver”.

    Booowaa haha ahaa hahahaha ahahahaha ahahahah!

  12. Fu

    that somehow both Lehman and Barclays made a bunch of money on the Lehman bankruptcy

    Lehman wasn’t just insolvent. They were massively insolvent. I think claims against Lehman are about US 600 billion. Employees made tens of billions from the Lehman Ponzi scheme or whatever you want to call it before it blew up through insane salaries and bonuses.

    Sure most Lehman employees did not profit when it blew up, but Bernie Madoff didn’t profit when things blew up either.

  13. Amit Chokshi

    This is what the rich do, probably due to the insecurities they have that in a real meritocracy they can’t hack it so they react like this buffon ibanker. Many studies demonstrate M&A has negative value in the aggregate from what I recall. In addition, LBOs are just mass transfers of wealth from employees to the big LBO owners so they do no social good.

    These people want you all to know how “talented” their kids are too. I live in Fairfield County CT where the big boys stress about getting their bratty 5 year olds in Country Day and dream about sending them to Phillips Academy. A few years ago being rich = virtue, that guy/girl is rich so he prob works “hard” doing lame pitches and working like a dog to get awful deals done.

    Now the veneer is gone and people are realizing these guys are not smart. They are lucky and prepped to get into the top schools. You can guarantee your kid’s future if you have the $ and pay the insane prices for prep school. Even in places like Greenwich CT or Scarsdale NY which have great public schools, people will pay to send their kids to the creme de la creme because you don’t want to risk your kid going to Cornell or Brown if things don’t go well when you can have them be a slam dunk to HBS or Yale.

    But Yves is right, in the world of this banker, if his son doesnt go to Princeton or HBS or Stanford it’s a bust. if your kid is in those social circles and goes to say Duke or Cornell or something along those lines, it’s horrifying. But this kid will have 1400+ SATs, he’s in a feeder school, he prob doesn’t need to work at a job during the summer cause his parents fund everything for him so he’ll do various career or volunteer type of work to stack his application. so worst case is something like Gtown or Emory so rather than a cadre of McKinsey or GS recruiters, they might get 1 from those places and have to scramble for a job at Jeffries or Boston Consulting.

    1. Myles SG

      G’town and Emory are in completely different brackets. G’town and Duke, on the other hand, are in the same bracket. Country Day, however, is correct. But Exeter isn’t. The really nice schools in the NE are the old-money Groton and St. George’s and Nobles and so on. Exeter is excessively academic.

  14. subclinical concussions

    Sounds like Skippy’s brain is getting clogged with tau-plaques from his glorious football career. Clearly he’s touchy about getting outed as crooked weasel scumbag in front of his kid. If providence is merciful to him, he’ll be lost in traumatic brain dementia by the time his weeping child is in college getting the shit persecuted out of him, day after day after day. At any school of actual repute his little schoolmates will be slavering for his daily hazing and humiliation.

  15. craazyman

    Well look.

    Actually, this is probably a good situation for the boy. Because we he goes off to the Ivy League college he’ll be brainwashed by lesbian feminist psychotic radical bitches and poly-sexual radical lightweights nitwits who blame Western Civilization and White Male Patriarchy for everything from Global Warming to the Ice Age and the extinction of the dinosaurs, and they’ll hate the boy’s priviledged elite guts and want to lay him Greek style in the faculty lounge at midnight at the same time.

    This is going to be a confusing experience for the young man, one that will make him drink heavily and search for bonding with his fraternity brothers in orgies of wanton mass destruction. And that will prepare him for a career in finance.

    So if he gets a taste of it now, it might act like a vaccine to reduce the syptoms later on.

    Sort of a flu shot.

    I think Skip is doing the right thing to try and get this bimbo fired.

  16. DownSouth


    Here’s some more specifics on what a “brilliant” and “decent” guy McGee is, and how he “deserves whatever rewards he gets”:

    …my sources tell me that a relatively unknown 49-year-old—Hugh “Skip” McGee III, the former head of investment banking at Lehman Brothers—may now be the highest paid banker on Wall Street. He negotiated for himself a two-year, $25-million-a-year contract to remain global head of investment banking at the British bank Barclays plc, as part of the deal where Barclays bought (for a song) the remnants of Lehman Brothers’ U.S. banking business out of bankruptcy. “I’m feeling nauseous right now even thinking about McGee’s deal,” said one of his former Lehman colleagues….

    In addition to the sheer magnitude of the $50-million dollar deal—which feels wholly inappropriate these days—there is at least an appearance of conflict of interest: McGee was one of three Lehman senior executives—along with former Lehman president Bart McDade and Mark Shafir, the former head of M&A—who negotiated the sale of Lehman’s U.S. investment banking assets to Barclays, some six hours after Lehman Brothers Holdings filed for bankruptcy.


  17. craazyman

    Put Skip and the teacher on Jerry Springer! And let them have at it. Let Dad teach the kid how to handle the Feminist Radicals when he gets to the Ivy Leage and Dad’s tuition really hits the roof. And maybe Mr. McGee is divorced and Ms. Lovett is out there fruitlessly on E-Harmony. Once they start wrastling anything could happen. I mean, it’s happened before! Legend has it that most of the Sabine Women didn’t even want to go home. Boowwahahahahahahahah

    1. DownSouth

      Ha! Ha! I tend to agree.

      This guy McGee reminds me of “OJ” Simpson. He just got away with murder, so you’d think he’d stash his 50 million cool in a safe place and keep a very low profile. But no, our master of the universe has got to take justice into his own hands. Nobody’s going to diss him!

      Probably not since the days of Reagan have we seen such a display of pious, self-righteous showboating on the part of the criminal banking class. As Time art critic Robert Hughes wrote:

      The GOP’s “morality” was all about sex and honoring thy father, and it tactfully avoided other commandments, particularly the one against stealing. Thus one of the prototypical figures of the time was Charles Keating, a Cincinnati businessman with the lantern jaw, piercing eyes and strict ethical look of the risen cracker-salesman. Keating co-founded the National Coalition Against Pornography, with the intent of saving the innocent from Satan, and became a major agitator for “traditional moral values” in the Midwest. Only later did it appear why Keating was so interested in preserving American innocence: he cheated thousands of innocent people of hundreds of millions of dollars in his manipulations of Lincoln Savings and Loan, though–unlike most of his fellow swindlers in this racket–he went to jail for it.

      So I say, “You go Skippy.” All the energy that should have gone into fighting the nation’s growing economic disparities has been shunted off into these culture wars. To get a gist of just how potent they are, consider the recent incident with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., how it was front-page news for weeks on end. Or think of Larry Summers and his run-in with Cornel West and his speculations at an economics conference that innate differences between men and women might be one of the reasons women lag behind in science and math careers. Larry couldn’t stand the heat at Harvard, so we have to wonder if our Skippy boy could do any better.

      But wait! These guys never really lose, even when they lose. I’m sure the Obama administration could always find a position for someone as “brilliant” and “decent” as Skip, like Chief Economic Advisor to the president.

      This is, after all, the caliber of people that are currently running our country.

  18. pebird

    Teacher: “All investment bankers are sleazeballs.”

    Investment Banker: “How dare that teacher call me a sleazeball, I’ll use my wealth and position to have her fired!”

    If Mr. McGee is successful, he ends up proving the Teacher’s assertion.

    These are the people running our economy, sleazeballs.

  19. krc

    -“McGee was one of three Lehman senior executives who negotiated the sale of Lehman’s U.S. investment banking assets to Barclays”
    -“working around the clock trying to save 11,000 jobs…”

    Hmmm… working around the clock … it sounds to me the dad was really busy consulting with attorneys on how to sell something valuable for a pittance while securing a nice $25m/year kickback (and avoid any liability in the process).

  20. Gregor

    The author thinks that admissions to top colleges have something to do with merit? That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a while. Top colleges are hedge funds with small educational institutions attached to them. “Merit” means who has the most money to those guys. I went to one of those colleges…the students are idiots. Do you think that GW Bush was accepted to college on merit?

    1. Yves Smith Post author


      I can’t speak to Yale, which is where GW went, but at Harvard, quite a few “legacy” candidates ARE turned down.

      And if you watch videos of Bush when he was Texas governor, he was shockingly articulate compared to GW as president. This is Vinny G’s territory, but I am told this often happens with people who have alcohol problems, that the cognitive decline can be pretty serious.

      1. Amit Chokshi

        Yeah but the important stat would be legacy as a % of total admissions. To say there are a lot that are turned down makes sense when you talk about Harvard, Princeton or any top 5 type of program. If someone went to Harvard, wouldn’t they have a stronger proclivity to want/position their kid to go to Harvard vs someone that went to ASU wanting their kid to go to ASU? One would think 100% of harvard grads want their kids to go to Harvard or a school at that level which is only Stanford, Princeton or Yale so legacy apps would naturally be rejected at a higher absolute level relative to lesser schools. But it still doesn’t mean a high level of legacy candidates are not overall accepted.

        But according to this http://abcnews.go.com/Business/IndustryInfo/story?id=4626882&page=1 legacy acceptance rates are laughable. Dartmouth is listed as having a legacy acceptance rate 2-2.5x higher than the average. And remember, that would imply the non legacy acceptance rate would be even lower.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Agreed, we don’t have the right metrics, and it’s reasonable to assume that “legacy” candidates are viewed favorably, but I was merely taking issue with the idea that the father’s bank account would trump other admission considerations.

  21. Vinny G.

    I teach too, and during the past year I have made many derogatory comments about banksters in my classes. I usually do it when we discuss topics such as Antisocial Personality Disorder (the new politically-correct diagnostic name for sociopaths and psychopaths). I usually paint with the wide brush too, and I also call them “destroyers of nations”, “thieves of retirement savings”, “criminals”, and such. I don’t worry about whether there are any decent people in that industry, because if there were, they should have found a different career path by now, else they deserve to be associated with the pack.

    So, I have a message for this Mr. McGee: take your 8 figure salary, your asshole party animal quarterback homo son, and go to hell. How’s that for bluntness? And, please do write me a 5-page letter asap too, but make sure you write it on soft tissue, as I just ran out of toilet paper here…LOL

    Regarding college admission criteria, at this point the entire higher education arena in this country has become such a scam and diploma mill operations, they’d take anybody with a fat checkbook or a credit score good enough to qualify for student loans. Even the Ivy League schools have become completely prostituted. I teach future doctors, and there was one instance last year when one of my students was functionally illiterate. I brought up the matter to my supervisors and they tried to make it look like my standards were too high. So I actually sat down with that student and explained things like, you end a sentence with a period, and start a new one with a capital letter. Or, you capitalize proper names. And I teach psychiatry and psychology, not English. And remember that this student had already graduated from college. As far as I know, he’s still in school. In 2 more years he’ll be writing out prescriptions and in 6 or 7 more he’ll be operating on your mother…


  22. pat b

    My take is if the kid becomes a little toxic the dad will
    start writing big checks to the developement fund.
    I went to a New England prep school, we had a couple of
    buildings named Baxter because the kid kept getting kicked out.

    If the dad waves around enough money he can get people sacked
    but he will need to write a couple of million in checks.

  23. JohnnyGL

    Yves and others,

    Having worked with the structured products desk at Lehman (they got snapped up by Barclays, too), I can tell you that from the description of McGee’s behavior, I’ve no doubts that he fit right in. The whole desk was ridiculously obnoxious. The traders would call up and make ridiculous demands regularly. If they called and you didn’t answer, they would keep calling other people until they got someone who answered. If you didn’t do what they wanted, they would keep yelling at you until you did, or they would go up the food chain. They constantly demanded that service providers cut fees. It took months of phone calls and emails to get our invoices paid.

    I’m quite happy that I don’t have to work with them anymore.

  24. trader0

    Down South,
    C’mon, you are entitled to your opinion …. but I have read these stories too, and nowhere have I seen anything other than conjecture. All I can tell you is what i know of someone, which i think is a lot more than some article quoting an unnamed person thinking someone did something wrong.
    It seems most of these responses are long on opinion and short on fact. Mind you, I am not pro or anti anyone/ thing without some evidence other than a few articles.

    BTW, Skip went to a public high school and a public junior high. He did manage to graduate Summa Cum Laude from Princton (just read that last part in TBTF or Sellout, can’t recall which).
    Maybe we should see about getting our kids into those public schools he attended as his graduating class produced several billionaires (sans daddy’s $) I know of.
    I like NC and have read it for a long time and my comments are just a small bit of insight on one matter.

    I am definitively not taking a position one way or the other.

    1. i on the ball patriot

      “Maybe we should see about getting our kids into those public schools he attended as his graduating class produced several billionaires (sans daddy’s $) I know of.”

      Wow! Several billionaires! Wow! Oh holy fucking sacred shit! Wow! Billionaires. Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Did they cheat off of Skip’s papers? Wow! Several billionaires! Wow! Oh holy fucking sacred shit! Wow! Billionaires. Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Did they cheat off of Skip’s papers? Wow! Several billionaires! Wow! Oh holy fucking sacred shit! Wow! Billionaires. Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Did they cheat off of Skip’s papers? Wow! Several billionaires! Wow! Oh holy fucking sacred shit! Wow! Billionaires. Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Did they cheat off of Skip’s papers? Wow! Several billionaires! Wow! Oh holy fucking sacred shit! Wow! Billionaires. Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Did they cheat off of Skip’s papers? Wow! Several billionaires! Wow! Oh holy fucking sacred shit! Wow! Billionaires. Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Did they cheat off of Skip’s papers? Wow! Several billionaires! Wow! Oh holy fucking sacred shit! Wow! Billionaires. Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Did they cheat off of Skip’s papers? Wow! Several billionaires! Wow! Oh holy fucking sacred shit! Wow! Billionaires. Wow! Wow! Wow! Wow! Did they cheat off of Skip’s papers?

      Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

    2. DownSouth


      You are conflating opinion with empiricism.

      McGee’s letter, which I provided a link to, is empirical data, or “fact” as you put it.

      McGee’s employment history, his role in negotiating the Lehman buyout and his pay package are also empirical, or “facts.”

      These are examples of information, not opinion.

      In addition to this, you confuse intelligence with morality. I’ll leave it to let the experts like Vinny G. confirm this or not, because I’m simply repeating something a psychologist friend told me many years ago. But what my friend told me is that one of the traits of those with Antisocial Personality Disorder, or as Vinny puts it “the new politically-correct diagnostic name for sociopaths and psychopaths,” is that they are of above-average intelligence.

      Your comment also seems to imply that making a lot of money, or becoming a billionaire, conveys some sort of moral authority. I would argue that perhaps just the opposite might be true.

      You conclude by stating that “I am definitively not taking a position one way or the other.” So does this mean you are backtracking from your earlier declarations that McGee is “brilliant,” “decent” and “deserves whatever rewards he gets”?

  25. Michael Fiorillo

    I thought it was a widely-known fact that you’re NEVER supposed to trust anyone named Skip, Bud or Chip.

  26. ian

    “Investment bankers all have cloven hooves and engage in ritual sacrifices of kittens”

    Nonsense. They’ll use any small animal.

  27. trader0

    i on the ball patriot:

    I can’t decide whether you are funny or angry, or both.
    My point was there is actually a good public school system.
    The thing about the billionaires was sort of an aside, not meant to offend you. All things the same, I’d rather be a billionaire.
    We used to have a letter grade taken off for misspelling a single word.

    1. i on the ball patriot


      I have no trouble deciding about you.

      All things the same, it is quite obvious that your hot to be a billionaire and I am sure you would have no qualms about cheating in order to become one. Billionaires are after all cheaters. That is a lesson that the good public schools, that you are a product of, are apparently deficient in.

      Sorry about your trials and tribulations with the reward system attached to spelling but you can rejoice in the fact that now you get a sticky back paper badge pinned on your chest when you vote. It says; “I Made Freedom Count! I Voted!”, but it communicates, by wearing it; I’m a gullible shit head!

      Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

    2. DownSouth


      As one who spent many years in the trenches of the culture wars, I find this entire incident incredibly intriguing.

      The left, and especially in academia, won the culture wars. As Richard Bernstein wrote in Dictatorship of Virtue:

      The fact is that assaulting the establishment, declaiming against the racism and sexism of society, reiterating the approved phrases about oppression and exclusion, promising to uncover previously neglected worlds, these require not a jot of courage these days. These are the sanctioned activities of the counterestablishment, the gestures and idioms that gain approval and lead to good opportunities, to jobs, to prizes, to book contracts, to prominence in American life. It takes no bravery to be a multiculturalist. There is no risk in smashing the icons. There are millions of dollars in foundation grants available for people who claim they are doing so.

      Now whether the price the culture warriors paid for their cultural victory, which was to sacrifice any standing in what Hannah Arendt called “the objective tangible place in the world” (McGee’s 50 million large very much being part of this world), is questionable. Charles M. Blow wrote an absolutely superb column in yesterday’s NY Times addressing these issues. The underlying question is this: Blacks now have their black president, but at what cost? “Blacks are living a tale of two Americas,” blow explains, “one of the ascension of the first black president with the cultural capital that accrues; the other of a collapsing quality of life and amplified racial tensions, while supporting a president who is loath to even acknowledge their pain, let alone commiserate in it.”

      So the truce that was reached is that the culture warriors have dominion over culture, over the “sphere of intimacy” or “intimacy of the heart” that was celebrated by Rousseau and the other romantics, and Wall Street has dominion over “the objective tangible place in the world.”

      But McGee is either ignorant of this truce, or is not content with it. Does he believe that his and Wall Street’s “objective tangible place in the world” is so secure that they can now mount incursions into the territory currently occupied by the culture warriors?

      I would cite Larry Summers’ experiences at Harvard as evidence that McGee is clueless as to what’s going on in the world. McGee doesn’t seem to even know where the battle lines are drawn, and I would mark his actions up more to arrogance and stupidity than to “brilliance.”

  28. RueTheDay

    Once the son graduates college, perhaps he can get a job at SAC Capital and demand that his underlings cross dress and give him BJs to get trades approved. Sounds like he’ll fit right in.

  29. Auden

    Sat by Skip and wife at a mutual friend’s dinner one night. She had a personality, he had none. Or perhaps we weren’t well-connected enough for him to waste his time. He barely spoke at all, and we were at a small table for 4, not in a big crowd during that part of the evening. And Kincaid?? Exclusive, yes, due to its small size and large tuition; but you don’t have to be smart to be accepted or to stay. Some of the dumbest kids I know attend.

    I can’t believe the Kincaid Controversy hit the front page of today’s Sunday Chronicle…

  30. Anon

    In my humble opinion, Mr McGee, who is Barclays Capital’s global head of investment banking is a disgrace, a sleazeball, a douchebag, and a wimp.

    Oh, and saving 11,000 jobs is hardly an accomplishment when you’re partly responsible for a disaster that has cost close to 10 million jobs. 10,000,003, it seems, if the school folds.

  31. hmmm

    Obviously the investment banker from Barkleys lied in his letter, because there is know way a spoon fed quarterback from a private school cried over those comments. In fact, if anything, the kid responded the way his daddy did, with smart ass lying comments.

    So McGee’s lying comments actually PROVE he is a dishonest sleaveball.

    I can’t wait until McGee has to spend his 8 figure salery trying to stay out of prison. It’s coming.

  32. i on the ball patriot

    John Brown’s A Comin’ …

    Slavery has morphed now,
    Finance holds the chains,
    The bankers are the cheats,
    They are the cause of your pains,

    They bought your crooked politicians,
    They bought your crooked media too,
    They ordered up some crooked laws,
    They taught you to love the wealthy few,

    John Brown detested slavery,
    He had a plan for its extinction,
    We need a new John Brown now,
    To explain slavery’s new distinction,

    John Brown made the gallows,
    As glorious as the cross,
    He had character and courage,
    And was not afraid of loss,

    The new John Browns a comin’,
    He’ll be here any day,
    He’ll kill all the bankers,
    And declare a jubilation day!


    Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

  33. southernboy

    First of all, this article manipulates everything Skip writes in the letter, in order for it to help support its bias opinions (I personally have read Skip’s letter multiple times). Skip was getting fed up with the leftist administration shoving liberal bullshit down his kid’s throat and it getting in the way of the great education that this school prides itself off of. Second, the pep-rally stunt where the senior football players dress up as the opposing team’s cheerleaders, was a skit that has gone on for 20+ years now. And of course, teachers such as Mrs. Lovett have to chime in and say that is is demeaning to women. Since when is that demeaning to women? Guys dressing up as girls has been going on since Shakespearian time. To make matters even more interesting, the principle said it was okay for the guys to put on the routine skit a week before it happened. But minutes before the skit, teachers had a fit over it and said that it was inappropriate. So, the football players took out the balloons out of their shirts, their skirts off, and went out in khakis and wigs. But again, somebody found this offensive. If teachers find this offensive, is it not okay for students to find their bullshit politics they say in class offensive? A pep-rally is an optional event to attend, a class is not optional. And when teachers go so crazy as to inflict their political views on kids, what do you think they will do when they know the students political views differ from theirs? This unbalance in teacher/student political views could cause major problems for the school. This is why Skip brings up the idea of firing this teacher. Also “hmmm”, you obviously do not know what you are talking about at all. I’m sure that you know his son did not cry… And “Auden”, before you call some of the students dumb asses, you should probably learn how to spell “Kinkaid”. Skip took the necessary steps in order to see the change that needs to happen, and unfortunately because of bias media, he is taking the the fall for it.

    1. lurker

      Kinkaid is justly well-known for its cross-dressing students. Skip was right to take a stand for traditional values.

    2. Auden

      I would never call anyone a dumb-ass. I just said some of the dumbest kids I know go there. Sorry I misspelled “Kinkaid”; I’m not writing large tuition checks to them.

  34. Otis B Driftwood

    Dr Josef Mengele, Auschwitz’ Angel of death was both brilliant & driven…and no doubt “suffered” from “anti-social personality disorder”….IMHO Skip & his ilk are of the same moral caliber….They’ve have destroyed the lives of millions and have brought about the destruction of the most free, egalitarian & affluent nation this sorry planet’s ever seen….They are now raping the corpse…Skip would have made a great Nazi..

  35. Dan Duncan

    Gratuitous Bullshit.

    Why is it so hard to believe the kid had “tears in his eyes”? The kid could have simply been frustrated that the teacher was such a self-righteous, sanctimonious moron, abusing her position of power to take potshots his father.

    What we have is a kid who loves his father and doesn’t take it lightly when someone takes an ignorant cheap shot at him.

    And we have a father taking up for his kid, because he feels the teacher is out of line in embarrassing his 16 year son.

    Yves manages to get a lot of mileage out of gratuitous:

    She takes a gratuitous shot at a father sticking up for his 16 year old kid…while making a gratuitous reference to her book, ECONNED.

    And, if you think I just took a gratuitous shot myself, well… there’s a lot of that shit going around, isn’t there?

    1. southernboy

      I totally agree with you Dan. If somebody made cheap shots at my dad like that in front of all of my peers when I was that age, I would probably be a little emotional as well. Teachers are not there to call you out in front of your class mates on things that are non of their business.

      1. lurker

        I agree too. Your dad works at Barclays, you attend Kinkaid, you want to dress up a cheerleader. Almost anything could put you over the top.

    2. snarkman


      Defending his son? McGee was defending himself.

      And an 11th grade boy being reduced to tears is a howler. If you buy stuff like that, I have a friend who is trying to get $100 million out of Nigeria who’d love to talk to you.

  36. Keith - Hermosa

    Yves said:
    “OK, the teacher was a jerk or a fool, take your pick”

    Yves, the people who destroyed the economy did not care about the consequences, only about their profits. They should be in prison, and their families should be fair game.

    They do not care about the millions or billions of lives they have hurt, and they get away with it because people like you don’t think a teacher should be allowed to make a marginally over-broad statement about their lack of character? Yes, lets all tiptoe around and bend over backward being fair while they gamble the Trillions of dollars we just gave them on riskier bets than ever.

    Or, we could make their actions crimes, and we could make their crimes capital offenses, and that might take some of the profit out of their destructive disregard for the welfare of the United States and the people of the world.

    1. southernboy

      Over broad? Her job is not to state her opinions and make false accusations about the kids father. She is a teacher. She is not a politician. Since when is it necessary for teacher to throw in her political views? She was way out of line and because of that, I think that she should be fired.

      1. i on the ball patriot

        Southernboy you nailed it … maybe your heritage connection to the overseer class at the plantations has given you some special insights that are right on. Yes, they should fire her and whip her sorry ass and pull out her disrespectful teeth too! Then maybe you won’t be having such a hard time playing the sympathy card and getting any love to flow to poor abused Hugh McGee and his poor victim son at Kincare?

        Sheesh, we always seem to forget … rich people have feelings too … like Bernie Madoff, Michael Millikin, Hitler, Mussolini, etc. … yes, lets all be more respectful and caring for the lying thieves amongst us.

        Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

    2. DownSouth

      Keith – Hermosa,

      You make an excellent point, which I want to supplement.

      Everyone, including Yves, is acting like judge, jury and executioner, condemning Ms. Lovett. But what are they basing this condemnation upon? They are basing it upon the sole testimony of McGee. His letter, after all, is the only testimony we are privy to at this moment.

      A couple of points concerning his letter:

      1) From a strictly legal standpoint, McGee’s testimony regarding Ms. Lovett’s comments about investment bankers, because he wasn’t present at the time the comments were made and didn’t actually hear what Ms. Lovett said, would I believe be considered to be hearsay.

      2) In his letter, another person McGee singles out for criticism is the student president, Andrew Edison. McGee complains that Edison’s

      worries about ‘negative gender stereotyping’ seem a bit hypocritical when one looks at the clever campaign video he used in his campaign for President. Click on the following link to see Andrew – yes, that is him dressed in drag: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNV7iqOLRws

      This, however, is a half-truth. It is true that Edison is student president. It is also true that Edison filmed this video with the intent to use in his campaign for student president. It is not true, however, that he used the video in his campaign. The school banned the use of the video.

      3)Edison has responded to McGee’s letter. “Mr. McGee was kind enough to dedicate an entire section of his manifesto to me personally,” Edison wrote:

      In our junior year of English at Kinkaid, we learn about Aristotle’s appeals or means of persuasion as applied to the art of argumentative writing. They are Logos (logic), Pathos (emotion), and Ethos (credibility). … In regards to the pep rally, I understand his logic and his feelings of frustration with how the situation was handled. However, after reading through the substance of his final section entitled “Conclusion,” he left me seriously questioning his ethos…. His indefensible remarks about the sexual orientation of faculty are undeniably bigoted and homophobic. The solutions that he offers… [constitute a] heinous call for a witch hunt…


      The point I want to stress is that I would be most leery of taking the sole testimony of McGee and using it to tar and feather Ms. Lovett and run her out of town on a rail. It seems like anyone seeking truth, fairness or justice would want to hear Ms. Lovett’s side of the story before passing judgment, as well as those of the people who were actually there and heard her comments.

      Furthermore, as more facts begin to emerge and as more people begin to tell their own versions, it appears that perhaps McGee speaks with forked tongue.

      1. kinkaidgrad

        Regarding your second point, I think Andrew Edison’s video was not used in the campaign because it was not submitted on time, not because it was banned. I could be wrong about this.

      2. Yves Smith Post author


        You seemed to miss my point completely.

        I indicated quite clearly that I am sympathetic with the general position that the teacher took. But it is simply foolish to launch into a diatribe against investment bankers, particularly when you have children of the same in your classroom, unless you have goods. Yes, we only have McGee’s account (and I said, “assuming this account to be accurate”), and both his son’s report and his recounting of what his son played back to him are likely distorted. But if the teacher did say that all investment bankers are “sleazeballs and dishonest”, as much as many readers of this blog believe that to be true, it is impossible to substantiate it. If she made ANY statement that claimed to apply to “all investment bankers” as far as their character and conduct are concerned, it’s simply unprovable.

        Put it more simply: the teacher is working in a school that caters to the affluent and successful. It isn’t exactly prudent to bite the hand that feeds you. There is a saying that goes something like, if you are going to attack the king, you need to kill him. She ignored that principle.

        1. i on the ball patriot

          “But if the teacher did say that all investment bankers are “sleazeballs and dishonest”, as much as many readers of this blog believe that to be true, it is impossible to substantiate it.”

          To the degree that one believes that the finance industry has feathered its own nest through well substantiated graft and corruption of government then one can with good conscience say that they are all complicit and “sleazeballs and dishonest”.

          Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

        2. DownSouth

          Sorry I missed your qualifier (“assuming this account to be accurate”) but it was in another paragraph back up in the story, so when I went back to confirm the comment Keith-Hermosa cited I missed it. My bad.

          And without a doubt, if indeed Ms. Lovett said the things McGee alleges she said, that would certainly be inappropriate.

          But is McGee the kind of person who can be trusted to tell the truth?

          Would one want to condemn Ms. Lovett based solely on the testimony of McGee?

          If one reads McGee’s letter in its entirety, there’s much more going on here than just those comments about investment bankers.

          There are some Kinkaid alumni commenting on another blog. Comments like the following also lead me to believe there’s much more here than meets the eye:

          In a way, what’s happening now is a good thing; the racists and bigots are exposing themselves and giving everybody a good lesson in the importance of tolerance. I’m proud of Kinkaid for forcing the issue with the Diversity Initiative just before I graduated, and I hope they remain committed to it in the face of the traditionalist onslaught.

          • As a member of the school right now:

          The principle OK’d the pep rally in the beginning of the week, including the skit in question. However, a little bit before the pep rally, a few students and maybe a teacher or two (Nobody knows who) apparently made a strong enough case against the pep rally for the principle to feel strongly enough to cancel it. The skit was supposed to be about a ‘gay’ kid, and all the football players dressed up as women. Apparently, the principle thought it was offensive to women. He acted on what he thought was best to the community.

          Once he realized the fiasco he had created, the principle came to all the advisories and apologized personally. This was not the headmaster’s decision. I don’t understand why the parents are mad at him over the pep rally. He himself has stated he does not agree with the principle’s decision to cancel the pep rally. Obviously the problem is more deep-rooted as some feel the school is putting pressure on those that are not minorities by promoting ‘too much diversity’ (Some even want clubs like Chinese Club, Greek Club shut down).

          We’ve been having optional meetings after school where a LOT of students have showed up and voiced their opinions about the whole situation. Everything should be under control about now if this were a different school, but this is Kinkaid, and it won’t blow over until ‘something gets done’.

          • Recently Kinkaid had a black valedictorian speak at graduation in 2008. I was very surprised but very proud that the school had come so far.

          My grade, we only had 1 black person! 1 Latino. This was even late 1990’s. Having more minorities in the school was a product of a “Diversity Initiative” enacted by the school’s board in 2002. It obviously has made a difference.

          Now hearing that some are even advocating to shut down the Chinese/Greek clubs, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to say that things like having a black valedictorian speaking at graduation and having more minorities in the school, is problematic to many families.

          People don’t wear white hoods these days (I guess its not fashionable anymore? but the school obviously has plenty of closet racists. (Funny Part: They are threatening to send their kids to St. Johns instead. This ain’t about no pep rally: the principal apologized and the wheels are still turning)

          However, it is still fashionable to be homophobic and that is what’s directly mentioned in the letter… but even then 4 pages out of 5 talk about a canceled pep rally! They are too coward to say what is really going on.

          I’m not saying everyone supporting the letter are racist, but its hard to discern who’s who without the white hoods.
          But it makes me wonder how their kids will handle college. Not everyone can go to Bob Jones University.

          It’s sad to see many influential/powerful leaders in Houston advocate discrimination for the sake of their children.

          • Ohh man. This again. It’s clearly not so much about a canceled pep rally, but the conservative school community feeling like liberals are taking over everything. It happened while I was at Kinkaid as well. I always felt bad for the teachers who are just trying to be considerate of the non-rich or non-white kids and then are berated by the larger conservative community for doing so. Acceptance of gays is easily the touchiest subject in the whole diversity controversy, so it doesn’t surprise me that some parents would write up a 5 page letter on it.

          • He wasn’t valedictorian but rather our school president. But yes, the school has come very far and most of these parents aren’t all too happy about it. They remember when they went to Kinkaid and the whole student body was made up of rich memorial and river oaks kids. Due to the initial wave of backlash following the first diversity initiatives, the school did a survey on diversity and the community’s feeling towards it. Let’s just say, the responses were frightening!

          Oh and about moving to St. John’s, that’s really funny because St. John’s is a far more liberal school with a far more liberal student body. Even still, they lost quite a few students one summer after they launched a gay-straight alliance organization. Needless to say, every time a student or a student organization brought up the idea of a possible gsa at Kinkaid, the headmaster’s response was a very quick, “I don’t think so.”

          I could go on forever about the tensions between different groups on diversity. It’s a deep-rooted issue.

          • We tried starting a gay/straight alliance club when I was a senior at Kinkaid. Saltman (the principal currently under fire) rejected it, but allowed us to start a different club with the name “Kinkaid Against Hatred and Discrimination” (KAHD). The club is still around, and I hope it is actively pushing back against the intolerant segment of Kinkaid families.

      3. Dippy

        Ummm…an 8 figure top dog at a top dog crony capitalistic private business, cracks a fat over utterances that befoul the same banking finance investment gang he helped with his cohorts, too bring the world to its knees. And feels the need to address another crony capitalistic private business on how to run its daily operations..really?

        When he and his cohorts fix up the mess they created maybe they can give pointers out to others, pro bono (or is the bill in the mail)! This teacher was doing their job, teaching, let her do her job and he can do his [burning down the world for profit]. If he does not like the way the school is run he should do what every other consumer is told to do…walk with your feet big boy! The school runs its own curriculum not the parents and if they don’t like it hit the road toads! The nepotism in private schools aways gives me the huzzz, aways spending huge money on sporting facilities and the like rather than making it more afordable…go figure.

        1. southernboy

          Again, the teacher’s job is not to inflict her personal opinion on the minds of students. She is way out of line here and instead of preaching her liberal bull shit to students, she should be teaching the subject matter and nothing more.

          1. snarkman

            You conservatives are priceless. You are keen to teach “values” as long as they favor the monied interests. It isn’t “liberal bull shit” to state the obvious, that the banksters have ripped off hard working taxpayers, and Junior boy, tears or not, is the son of a member of a criminal class.

          2. Dippy

            Lol I can’t remember a single teacher that in some way or another didn’t espouse their own personal loves and hates in the class room, from day care to post grad, symposiums, conferences etc in my experience.

            Fear, nuthin but mindless fear. Just think being exposed to ideas out side those only allowed at home is that not what school is about: learning, being exposed to ideas, thoughts, theory’s and making up your own mind rather than having someone tell you what to think and feel.

            To whit if Skippy Jr is such a chip off the old block he could have done his due diligence and written her a rebuttal (dads pride would have been glorious), but wait thats just what dad did once he got Jr’s distress call…right?

            Seems to me the money on this hifalutin school was a waste of time, as all semblance of good manners, composure, mental facility’s flew right out the window upon his teachers commendation of the banking sector. What a waste of money just to have the right stamp on your education file ha ha.

            Look he will be fine, soon he can snort lines, drop tabs and get laid at the infamous Houston watering holes for the rich.

      4. southernboy

        Another thing that you do not know is that he submitted his campaign video to late and did not meet the dead line. He was later allowed to show it on a school tv.

    3. Keith - Hermosa

      Yes, if she knew what was good for her, that teacher would have kept her mouth shut. And besides, she is only a teacher. She is not supposed to have an opinion. She is supposed to be a talking book.

      EVERY teacher in the country should be saying what she said. Every person in the country should be saying what she said. But instead we have 100 comments here on legal nuances, and qualifiers. Way to protect Democracy.

      What does it take to make gambling and losing $10 Trillion or $20 Trillion of other people’s money a crime? At what point can a teacher find that immoral?

      If these bankers had opened a strip joint 1 block from a school, 10,000 people with signs would be marching in the streets. But bankrupt half the world? Throw 10 million Americans out of their jobs on a lost bet? Then it’s not even OK for lowly teachers to have opinions about that.

  37. kinkaidgrad

    I admire Skip for writing the letter to the Kinkaid Board, and opening up the discussion. His points were well made, and the school has acknowledged that the teacher/principal handled the matter poorly. You all are harping on his profession and bank account, and that really has nothing to do with the issues that he wrote about. I was lucky enough to attend Kinkaid, and now my children are there. Kinkaid is an incredible school with terrific teachers, intelligent, adorable children and supportive, caring families. It saddens me that all of you would speak so negatively about an institution that you know nothing about. Thank you, Skip for opening up the discussion to improve our school.

    1. i on the ball patriot

      Skip’s bank account and profession have everything to do with the issues he wrote about. Some pigs really believe that they are more equal than others. This is class warfare. It saddens me that the arrogant rich are so ignorant of the effects of their pernicious greed.

      Deception is the strongest political force on the planet.

  38. bonnie cummins

    jealousy rears it’s ugly head.
    All of you would walk away from Wallstreet’s most powerful institution if offered $25 million yearly to lead it’s global finance department?? Wow.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Your assumptions are dead wrong. What has people angry isn’t that some people make a lot of money, it’s that Wall Street wrecked the global economy, got massive rescues, and not only has no one gone to jail (save a few hedge fund Ponzi artists), but the perps for the most part are still in place and making more money than ever. But you ignore the most important facts and try to dismiss legitimate criticism.

      What took place is theft on a grand scale, the greatest looting of the taxpayer in history, and the public has every reason to be angry. And you have someone like McGee demanding that not just a teacher, but the principal and headmaster be fired, because a teacher said bad things about his corrupt industry? He illustrates that the ego and sense of entitlement of members of this industry are wildly out of hand.

      And you also make big assumptions about where readers’ values lie. Some people are not willing to be bought. I DID walk away from the big money on Wall Street, lest you forget. I for one would not take that job for $25 million or any price.

    2. Dippy

      Dear Lady I’ve walked from about twice that amount over the last 20 years. Some of my most precious mental moments are the facial reactions of people upon hearing my decision and the ethical reasons for not moving forward, better than the money if you ask me, always lifts my spirit’s in a pinch.

  39. trader0

    Down South,

    Thanks for the comments and I finally read the entire letter. Quite interesting.

    Actually the only purpose of my initial comments was to add a little color to the discussion.
    To anyone who thinks I am confusiong anything here, they are just reading something into my comments that isn’t there.
    I am not defending anyone.

    I am not confusing brilliance or wealth with what is right or what ought to occur.
    I am also not about to defend a little schoolboy cheating as indicative of a willingness to do so in later life.

    Assume what you want, because you will do so regardless of my comments.

    If everyone hasn’t already done so, they should realize the majority of parents whose students attend this school are extremely conservative.
    I’m extremely liberal. Surprised?
    Reading the letter reminded just how conservative the parents are.
    So what? I still think Skip was a decent person and achieved his position on his abilities.
    There seem to be so many comments imputing the World’s ills to people who may or may not bear a degree of responsibility. I don’t know if they do, and that means it’s unlikely any of you can impart responsibility to a particular person. Blaming a “class” of people is just pathetic.

  40. RUDY

    TRASH TALKING wALLSTREET INVESTMENT BANKERS IS A DEAD END. fINDING OUT WHAT IS BEHIND THE “TEACHER WISPER CIRCUIT” WOULD BRING US A BIT CLOSER TO THE REAL PROBLEM AT THE SCHOOL. What is the reasoning behind hiring a lesbian Athletic Director and homosexual head football coach? How did that happen without the school notifying the parents that the school was heading in an unfamiliar direction. Without having the Board in touch with the school and students, nothing will change…..students and parents will move on to other schools. Teachers and faculty will feel unwanted and resign and move on as well. New students and faculty will arrive and the school will march on to a different drummer. Otherwise, get rid of the current BOD, elect mew BOD members by a school-wide parental vote and move forward untangling the mess left by the old administration. Why not appoint McGee Board chairman and fix the problems at hand. Tne school’s problems would be addressed and resolved by the most qualified person available. Someone who abviously cares a great deal about the place.

  41. DownSouth

    The Houston Chronicle had its entire story concerning this imbroglio accessible to the public this morning (yesterday it was available only to subscribers):


    It didn’t provide any new information that hasn’t already been talked about in this thread.

    I had hoped the Chronicle story would set out the recent history of the school in better detail, but it didn’t.

    From what I can glean from comments from various blogs, the school’s board of directors instituted a “Diversity Initiative” in 2002. Apparently the school was suffering from severe image problems within the broader Houston community for being an all-white bastion for rich kids. Ms. Lovett was named head of the “Diversity Committee,” and was silly enough to take that position seriously. The Diversity Initiative apparently was achieving some success, and the student body elected a black student president. Then there were calls for more sensitivity towards women and to gays and lesbians.

    All this proved too much for Hugh McGee.

    You have to remember, however, that these guys like McGee talk in code. As Lee Atwater observed in a 1981 interview with NY Times columnist Bob Herbert:

    You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states’ rights and all that stuff. You’re getting so abstract now [that] you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.

    So instead of talking about what’s really bugging him, which is the success of the Diversity Initiative, McGee instead deftly manipulates the truth, blowing these other incidences completely out of proportion with half-truths or maybe even outright lies. And several commenters quickly caught on to just how outrageous and nonsensical McGee’s fibs are: his 17 year-old son crying because a teacher said bad things about his father, the call to fire the school’s headmaster, principal and history teacher (Ms. Lovett, who is also head of the Diversity Committee) merely because of a canceled skit at a pep rally.

    Here are some fotos of McGee’s son, John Ed (#11), who supposedly came home in tears:


    Clearly there’s something wrong with the picture being painted by McGee.

    But make no mistake, the conservative parents who were the intended recipients of McGee’s letter certainly know the code. They know what the real underlying issues are.

    1. recentkinkaidgrad

      i am a recent graduate from kinkaid and if you want some background on what was going on–ms. lovett was/is crazy and took her position entirely to seriously and used it to impose ridiculous restrictions on the students. she entirely overstepped her bounds and her goal was more of a personal vendetta against the general wealth of students there and their families.

      the black president of which you speak won over a white, female candidate who was 100% more qualified for the position than that kid who only one because he told all of the lowerclassmen some story about how he got shot one time when he was little and his hard life in the third ward. the kids were quite intrigued by his story, so he got elected to the position, but was a horrible president and only one because he himself played the race card–that’s not what diversity is about.

      kinkaid had a good goal in mind but they executed it horribly and that all culminated in the recent pep rally.

      yves: as far as the comments you wrote about john ed’s future inability to get into college because of his father’s comments…shame on you for being such a prick that you would pick on a 17 year old boy and try to ruin his chances of getting into college. i happen to know john ed and i’m sure he’s a lot smarter than you who can only manage to write biased blogs about something you aren’t even very knowledgable about. you have no idea whats going on at that school OR who skip mcgee is as a person. so you should probably just stop talking out your ass.

      1. snarkman

        I see they encourage them to be stupid and arrogant at Kinkaid.

        Any damage to McGee’s son in his college apps was done by his father’s antics. Did you somehow not notice that this post linked to a UK paper? The idea that you and fellow Kinkaidian will try to shoot the messengers shows a lack of powers of observation. HIs behavior got bad press because it deserved it, and it was widely reported before NC picked up on it.

        I assure you Yves is vastly more intelligent than young master McGee, Your writing and argumentation skills reveal you are no judge in these matters.

  42. Aposter

    It is true that often in America, the gap between the rich and poor can be extremely great. However, griping about the “sleazy bankers” will do nothing to improve the situation; honestly, one who does this often just sounds jealous that he does not have as much money as the upper class. If you really want to improve the lower class’s condition, you can enact change via volunteering, raising money for charity, etc.; why waste energy complaining about things you cannot control?

    One other thing, Mr. Mcgee’s letter was actually a PRIVATE letter written to the school’s administration, and somehow it was leaked to the public domain. This whole situation is not anyone’s business, and there is absolutely no reason to drag John Ed into this; making fun of him for being a “crybaby” or the like is extremely immature.

  43. subclinical concussions

    Pretty good press for an exorbitant school for kids who can’t get into Saint Grottlesex or an Academy or Porter’s or Lawrenceville, etc., etc., etc. Now, although 80 per cent of the world is laughing at your dirt-farmer daycare, it may attract a lot more cracker hucksters who made it big in our decade of fraud, and think it’s cuz they prayed to Jesus.

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