Mediocrity breeds corruption. The business world is crawling with affable, industrious, intelligent people with nothing to distinguish them from ten thousand other affable, industrious and intelligent people, but who very much would like to be rich. Except by winning the equivalent of a lottery or marrying up, their chances of becoming rich are quite poor. They joint a fraternity at college to make contacts, and went to business school to network. They have no friends, only contacts, as their entire social life from freshman year onward has been a struggle to get to know people who might help them. They live in silent terror that they will fall off the corporate gravy train and never have the chance to clamber back on.
These are the people most inclined to cheat, for they know that they have nothing unique to offer the world, and their ascent depends either on luck or unfair advantage. They cheat in every way possible, whenever they have a chance. One way they cheat is to steal from the stockholders by front-loading profits and back-loading risks. That is what destroyed the banking system. At the top of the market in 2006-2007 when risk compensation was stupidly low, bank managers made their return-on-equity numbers by adding leverage on top of leverage. Every one of them knew that it was a dumb and dishonest thing to do, but they all hoped that they would be promoted by the time the problem blew up in someone else's lap.
27 maio 2009
Estou totalmente viciado nos textos do Spengler!