The Genesis of the Financial Crisis

Around the world most economies are beginning to recover. Recovery is still not certain and some economies are still in terrible condition, but the major economies of the world look in better shape than they were a few years ago. It is probably time to consider what caused the economic crash, on the basis that enough time might have elapsed in order to judge more carefully and more impartially than a judgment made in the heat of the crisis.

Probably the root cause of the economic crisis is that governments and regulators and ordinary people underestimate the attractions of greed. In every society there have always been those that are greedier than others, but on the whole, living in a society has some natural curbs on greed. You have to co-operate with those living next to you and with those with whom you work. If you are too greedy you damage them as individuals and over the long run damage the society in which you live.

Greed is a normal human emotion but greed on the scales that we have seen by those in banking, finance and business cannot be allowed to run unchecked in the complex inter-linked world of today. If you pile your plate too high you end up depriving a hundred fellow humans in another place far away; greed has this butterfly effect.

It also has an irony; some people have made huge amounts of money; more than they can ever spend or use and more than several generations of their descendants can ever spend or use. To be clever enough to get all that money, they must be stupid enough to want it.


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