Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The love of money

The Inside Job is now out on DVD. Last night I watched it with my wife (Robin) and son (Luke). This is a very disturbing (and fascinating) documentary which chronicles the background to the Global Financial Crisis. I highly recommend it. My emotional response is a mixture of disgust, anger, laughter (at the folly of man), frustration, and fear. Of particular concern were
  • the ridiculous salaries of investment bankers that are completely uncorrelated with performance
  • the alleged wide-spread use of prostitutes and cocaine amongst investment bankers including upper management
  • the revolving door between Wall Street and government 
  • the undeclared conflicts of interest of several academic economists who supported financial deregulation
  • the failure of CEOs, lobbyists, and academic economists to even see that they may have had conflicts of interest
  • the Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations have ALL failed to show any leadership in addressing the issues but have been completely captive to the whims of Wall Street
Intellectually the movie underscores to me
  • just how sinful man is (illustrated by greed, self-delusion, self-justification, ...)
  • the God given role of government is restrain and punish evil (Romans 13)
  • once large sums of money become involved in any enterprise truth and justice are quickly endangered
  • the importance of personal integrity
  • the importance of good governance and accountability in any organisation
  • we should not be surprised when something similar happens again
But what about me? It is easy to degenerate into self-righteous anger at the injustice, incompetence, and stupidity of the perpetrators. However, perhaps we should all look at our own greed and capacity for self delusion. 

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