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93

Our Times: The Great Crash

2
terms
1
notes

Coyle, D. (2014). Our Times: The Great Crash. In Coyle, D. GDP: A Brief But Affectionate History. Princeton University Press, pp. 93-118

ate (grk)

(Greek tragedy) foolishness or madness

93

hubris, ate, and nemesis

—p.93 by Diane Coyle
unknown
3 years, 11 months ago

hubris, ate, and nemesis

—p.93 by Diane Coyle
unknown
3 years, 11 months ago
95

It is widely known now, as it was not before 2008, that the financial markets were characterized not just by irrational exuberance but also by widespread fraud, deception (including self-deception), and market manipulation. Not to mention in the financial and corporate worlds alike a loss of ethical moorings, resulting in distasteful manifestations of greed. Even now, most members of the financial and business elite do not seem to have appreciated the extent to which they entered a separate moral universe; many seem to feel aggrieved, perceiving themselves to be unfairly scapegoated when it comes to assigning blame for the financial and economic crisis. This, too, is part of the arrogance, this belief that there were a few bad apples but nothing systemic had gone wrong in the way the financial industry and big businesses were being run.

So, in a classic tragedy, arrogance leads to folly. The follies have been many. The payment of multimillion-dollar and -pound remuneration packages by the elite to itself (all remuneration committees being filled with the same kind of people). The creation of toxic financial instruments that multiplied and focused risks. The self-delusions and inadequacies of regulatory bodies that grew too close to those people nd businesses they were supposed to be regulating. Above all the loss of perspective about the purpose of business, which is not at all the maximization of short-term profit or even shareholder value, but rather delivering goods and services, to customers (in ways they might not even know they want), in a mutually beneficial transaction. Profit and share price increases are a side effect, not a goal.

a pretty decent characterization of the financial crisis (probably the best moment in the entire book)

—p.95 by Diane Coyle 3 years, 9 months ago

It is widely known now, as it was not before 2008, that the financial markets were characterized not just by irrational exuberance but also by widespread fraud, deception (including self-deception), and market manipulation. Not to mention in the financial and corporate worlds alike a loss of ethical moorings, resulting in distasteful manifestations of greed. Even now, most members of the financial and business elite do not seem to have appreciated the extent to which they entered a separate moral universe; many seem to feel aggrieved, perceiving themselves to be unfairly scapegoated when it comes to assigning blame for the financial and economic crisis. This, too, is part of the arrogance, this belief that there were a few bad apples but nothing systemic had gone wrong in the way the financial industry and big businesses were being run.

So, in a classic tragedy, arrogance leads to folly. The follies have been many. The payment of multimillion-dollar and -pound remuneration packages by the elite to itself (all remuneration committees being filled with the same kind of people). The creation of toxic financial instruments that multiplied and focused risks. The self-delusions and inadequacies of regulatory bodies that grew too close to those people nd businesses they were supposed to be regulating. Above all the loss of perspective about the purpose of business, which is not at all the maximization of short-term profit or even shareholder value, but rather delivering goods and services, to customers (in ways they might not even know they want), in a mutually beneficial transaction. Profit and share price increases are a side effect, not a goal.

a pretty decent characterization of the financial crisis (probably the best moment in the entire book)

—p.95 by Diane Coyle 3 years, 9 months ago

also known as hedonic adaptation, is the observed tendency of humans to quickly return to a relatively stable level of happiness despite major positive or negative events or life changes

112

describing Edmund (from Narnia) getting used to Turkish Delight

—p.112 by Diane Coyle
notable
3 years, 11 months ago

describing Edmund (from Narnia) getting used to Turkish Delight

—p.112 by Diane Coyle
notable
3 years, 11 months ago