Americans enter the New Year in a strange new role: financial lunatics. We’ve been viewed by the wider world with mistrust and suspicion on other matters, but on the subject of money even our harshest critics have been inclined to believe that we knew what we were doing. They watched our investment bankers and emulated them: for a long time now half the planet’s college graduates seemed to want nothing more out of life than a job on Wall Street. This is one reason the collapse of our financial system has inspired not merely a national but a global crisis of confidence. Good God, the world seems to be saying, if they don’t know what they are doing with money, who does? Incredibly, intelligent people the world over remain willing to lend us money and even listen to our advice; they appear not to have realized the full extent of our madness. We have at least a brief chance to cure ourselves. But first we need to ask: of what?
By Michael Lewis and David Einhorn, Jan 4, 2008, New York Times Oped

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