Quote 12: Michael Lewis on incentives in Wall Street

Michael Lewis:

He thought the cause of the financial crisis was “simple. Greed on both sides—greed of investors and the greed of the bankers.” I thought it was more complicated. Greed on Wall Street was a given—almost an obligation. The problem was the system of incentives that channeled the greed.

Found in the December 2008 portfolio magazine (ht Robbie Allan).

  • John

    I like the bit where they get a chemical engineer with an MBA to try and figure out the CDO’s(?) and he can’t make head or tail of them.

  • “I like the bit where they get a chemical engineer with an MBA to try and figure out the CDO’s(?) and he can’t make head or tail of them.”

    Indeed – that was a winner 🙂

  • John

    Opinion: An open letter to Bernard Hickey on de-leveraging

    “I cover this within a recent article Scoop: Housing Bubbles: Learning To Grow Up, where I draw readers attention to a very perceptive article by Michael Lewis on Portfolio Com The End of Wall Street’s Boom – National Business News – Portfolio.com – which should be read very closely. Note – it was the guys in the finance sector (and very few of them) who realized that housing markets that exceeded three times household income was THE major problem – and they wisely took steps to protect – and indeed profit – from this.”
    http://www.interest.co.nz/ratesblog/index.php/2008/12/15/opinion-an-open-letter-to-bernard-hickey-on-de-leveraging/

    Do you see the rationale in Hugh Pavletich’s take on this article (cause/ effect) Matt?