I loved this line from the 80’s movie Wall Street, but is it accurate? I tend to believe the majority of the time that greed is good as it is at the core of the human desire for material gain. The following was an excerpt from the Dallas Fed that I found really interesting about the banks and Too Big To Fail that talked about Greed:
Capitalism couldn’t operate without it. Most of the time, competition and the rule of law provide market discipline that keeps self-interest in check and steers it toward the social good of producing more of what consumers want at lower prices. When competition declines, incentives often turn perverse, and self-interest can turn malevolent. That’s what happened in the years before the financial crisis. New technologies and business practices reduced lenders’ “skin in the game”—for example, consider how lenders, instead of retaining the mortgages they made, adopted the new originate-to-distribute model, allowing them to pocket huge fees for making loans, packaging them into securities and selling them to investors. Credit default swaps fed the mania for easy money by opening a casino of sorts, where investors placed bets on—and a few financial institutions sold protection on—companies’ creditworthiness. Greed led innovative legal minds to push the boundaries of financial integrity with of-balance-sheet entities and other accounting expedients. Practices that weren’t necessarily illegal were certainly misleading at least that’s the conclusion of many postcrisis investigations.
The whole article can be found at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/86334695/Choosing-the-Road-to-Prosperity
In addition, gotta leave you with the classic clip from Wall Street: