Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Gadarene Swine

In a visit to old haunts, ex-Wall Street trader Michael Lewis (author of "Liar's Poker") describes how greed was turbocharged by ignorance among both the experts and the public, firing them all well beyond the edge of the precipice.

8 comments:

yoyomo said...

I slogged through that article and it made my blood boil (talk about hurry-up-and-finish-packing-the-boxes-and-load-them-on-the-train bankers). Makes me sypathize with the Chinese govt's habit of executing white-collar criminals who get too greedy.

James Higham said...

Gadarene swine indeed.

Sackerson said...

Perhaps I should have titled it "The Gadarene Storm".

Old Prof said...

In short, we've come to the conclusion that I came to about 30 years ago - our major corporations, universities, governments and school systems are run by B Ark people.

Sackerson said...

OP: A Ark but conscienceless.

dearieme said...

A Ark, B Ark? I no unnerstand.

Old Prof said...

'B Ark' (from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), consisting of the useless 1/3 of the population, such as telephone sanitizers, hairdressers, advertising executives, and most middle managers.

I have to respectfully disagree with the wise *old* Sackerson - they are B Ark material - most of the CEO's and other Wall Street guys doing the buying and selling were liberal arts majors with no discernable quantitative skills whatsoever. They were dealing in huge amounts of money without any understanding of the complexity behind them. It's the same with almost all technology around us. These same guys have cut research budgets in universities, companies and the national grants for years, and yet expect to have fancy new gadgets at a moment's notice. I wish we had Adams' solution.

dearieme said...

That seems a bit hard on the telephone sanitizers, Prof.