Lately I have been wondering if there is such a thing as reputation forgiveness. As I read the news over the past few weeks regarding Warren Buffett’s misstep with David Sokol and I think about the one year anniversary of the horrific oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, I got to thinking that just as reputation recovery takes several years to happen, reputation forgiveness might be something to consider. Should Buffett’s lifetime of good reputation outweigh his recent bruising? Is there a Pass Go and Collect $200 card that business and political leaders should be able to play. Of course, mere mortals like myself don’t get those types of passes. There are some acts of reputation forgiveness, all to different degrees and all depending on the “crime.” Former President Bill Clinton has indoubtedly received some measure of reputation forgiveness since the Monica Lewinsky debacle. Elliot Spitzer is now an anchor on CNN. Michael Milliken and Martha Stewart have received doses of forgiveness (both having spent in jail which perhaps fast tracks forgiveness, not sure). The list is too long to even consider. Something worth thinking about.