An observation from Harvard – TPM Cafe

Thanks to TPM Cafe

This from a well-known Harvard Business School professor:

“Wall Street is the symbol of an industry which for years has described itself as being controlled by a balance between fear and greed. Indeed, the people who talk this way seem to take pride in it.

Any industry that can cause such trouble and which takes into account only fear and greed in its operation is begging for someone to speak up for the public interest. They have dared the government to regulate them. It is a dare that they must lose.

One might also add that any business that markets itself as “too big to fail” is also too big to be unregulated.

Free Marketeers forever quote Adam Smith’s famed “invisible hand” metaphor. They interpret Smith to be saying that the sum of everyone acting selfishly will be the public good. If we have learned anything from the mess in which we find ourselves now, it is the untruth of that belief. To achieve a thriving economy – to build a society of which we can be proud – we have to use the brains God gave us. That means positive, active, assertive, informed governmental action. For decades, one political party has told us that government is the problem, not the solution. They certainly aren’t acting that way now.”

Richard S. Tedlow

Class of 1949 Professor of Business Administration

Harvard Business School


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