Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Unrealistic Positive Thinking

I’ve written on this topic before, so I’ll try not to repeat too much. I think that the peculiarly American brand of gung-ho optimism is partially responsible for our recent economic meltdown. The “What Me Worry?” attitude hurt us. I ran across this quote that I think sums it up nicely:

“What passes for optimism is most often the effect of an intellectual error.”

Raymond Aron

I don’t know who this guy is, but I think he summed up the housing bubble / Wall Street idiocy quite well. 

1 comment:

Perplexio said...

The housing bubble had just as much to do with pressure from the government trying to tell banks to lend to anyone and everyone (with the idea of all Americans being able to own their own homes) and then banks going against their better judgment and doing just that.

It was pressure from the likes of Barney Frank that led to the banks starting to take risks they had no business taking... But the snowballing out of control falls largely and squarely on the banks and mortgage lenders who threw conventional wisdom out the window with over-speculation and the unbridled lust of promises of quick riches.

I don't think it had as much to do with optimism as it had to do with history repeating itself-- over-speculation led to the stock market crashes of both 1929 and 1987 yet we still didn't learn and bada-bing we got this most recent crash.