The day before yesterday Japan Airlines (JAL) declared bankruptcy. It was Asia’s largest airline by revenue, which doesn’t mean the most profitable. Prime Minister Hatoyama and the Transportation Minister announced on TV that they will help as much as possible in the whole restructuring process (although 15,000 jobs will be lost). The current CEO of Japan Airlines also appeared on TV and he declared himself the responsible for the bankruptcy, apologized to all Japan and bowed profusely twice (0:25 minute of the first video). I couldn’t avoid thinking about the day when Lehman Brothers went bankrupt and the CEO, Richard Severin Fuld, not even appeared on TV to give explanations and apologize.
Richard Severin Fuld only spoke in public when he was forced to declare against a court. If you watch the video you will see that he assumes responsibility for what happened, but he also blames the unpredictability of markets and that nobody forecasted that the bubble was so big. He also never says the word “sorry” (probably because it’s not appropriate so say it in front of a court).