Crazy Games, Over and Over
I recently read Michael Lewis's book Liars Poker (a bit late, I know). The truth is, though, I found it really interesting to read in the context of what has continued to go on and on. So I wrote a piece for Fool.com: Wall Street's Insane Poker Game Continues.
I'd say the kind of behavior that has seemed to prevail (and has even been aspired to) may be a bit more like russian roulette. Some of the overwhelming themes I think have leaked into other parts of corporate America. For example, the ease with which meritocracy too often gets lost (which of course segues into some of my rants about excessive CEO pay). These are themes that really bother me, and don't speak well of having well-run companies out there (although of course there are some out there).
At any rate, it is also interesting to me that in Lewis's follow-up article, The End of Wall Street's Boom, he summed it up nicely at the end, that public investment banks had basically transferred all risks to shareholders, and of course, in the event of a total flame-out, transferred the risks to the government, as we all painfully know now. These things DO seem to keep on happening, over and over. And thus, I brought up the famous quote by Einstein, which just about everybody knows but seems not to ponder too terribly hard. (By the way, I am aware that I tend to say the same things over and over a good bit of the time... haha.)
Oh yeah and in closing, I do highly recommend Liar's Poker. Some of it's funny and entertaining, until you get the chills realizing it's not that funny because it's true.