Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Were the bankers who landed us in this mess wicked or stupid? It has to be one or another. Some are now going for stupid, see Friedman and Lewis. I think this is right, but it's a particular kind of stupidity - the stupidity of isolation. I've blogged in the past about the loathsome behaviour of City boys and hedgies at the height of their success. It was the behaviour of people without culture and without any sense of their connection to other people. They were isolated within their own phenomenally narrow set of values. Such isolation breeds stupidity because judgment is discarded as it might threaten the gamblers' groupthink. Outsiders are mocked because they 'don't understand'. And it's true, we didn't, we just thought they did and we were wrong.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 1:32 pm