Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Beyond greed

Sobering thoughts for those contemplating longer term battles such as climate change:
[The U.S.] financial catastrophe, like Bernard Madoff’s pyramid scheme, required all sorts of important, plugged-in people to sacrifice our collective long-term interests for short-term gain. The pressure to do this in today’s financial markets is immense. Obviously the greater the market pressure to excel in the short term, the greater the need for pressure from outside the market to consider the longer term. But that’s the problem: there is no longer any serious pressure from outside the market. The tyranny of the short term has extended itself with frightening ease into the entities that were meant to, one way or another, discipline Wall Street, and force it to consider its enlightened self-interest.
-- from The End of the Financial World as We Know It by Michael Lewis and David Einhorn.

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