CHECK THIS OUT - This is an interesting perspective by Daniel Gross because it puts forth the proposition that it wasn't primarily sleazy psychopaths who screwed up the economy, but rather intellectual heavy weights who were acting stupid. I like this idea because a fact of character structure reality is that intellectualization is a defense mechanism, not a measure of true intelligence, so apparently smart people can often be found to be engaged in very dumb behavior.

Here's Daniel:

"Dumb Money: The villains of the financial catastrophe aren't criminals. They're morons."
By Daniel Gross

Feb. 23, 2009

"My book explains how during the late, great credit bubble, an Era of Cheap Money devolved into an Era of Dumb Money, and then into an Era of Dumber Money.
In the past few months, we've been riveted and disgusted by the exploits of scamsters like Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford (characters who, if they didn't exist, would have to be invented by Tom Wolfe). It's both easy and convenient to hold them up as the ultimate symbols of the just-ended boom. But we shouldn't. While there was some crime in the mortgage industry, law-abiding, respectable, upstanding citizens caused the overwhelming majority of financial losses suffered thus far. Skeezy money managers and mobbed-up boiler rooms didn't create the economic catastrophe. It was visited on us by firms in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500—companies that trace their origins back to the 1800s, run by graduates of Yale and Harvard. The people who blew up the system weren't anarchists. They were members of the club: central bankers and private-equity honchos, hedge-fund geniuses and Ph.D. economists, CEOs and investment bankers. And the (overwhelmingly legal) con they perpetuated on themselves, their colleagues, their shareholders and creditors, and, ultimately, on us taxpayers makes Madoff's sins look like child's play."

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