The infamous line of Gordon Gecko from the 1987 movie Wall Street. Gekko wasn’t only referring to money. He wasn’t also referring to anything material. He was referring to the insatiable human appetite for excess of anything.
The line was justified as the basis for human evolution. That greed was a necessary vehicle towards human development. After all, what else could motivate human beings to strive for more of whatever they already had, more of what they already are, except for greed?
Was Gordon Gekko right?
Gordon Gekko was right in the sense that there is nothing wrong with wanting more to improve one’s life. There is nothing wrong with striving to obtain more of the world’s resources. Everyone has their share of hard earned cash and belongings. Everyone wants to grow as a human being. All of that is rooted in some form of greed,
So if Gordo Gekko was right, where did Wall Street go wrong?
Someone once said: too much of anything is bad. Looking for people to victimize in the stock market and selling worthless stocks to ignorant people with money is wrong. Playing in the stock market and buying stocks you know nothing about on the promise of eye popping profits is plain stupidity on top of greed.
The world’s financial crises stem not merely from greed, but from uncontrolled greed. Financial managers having total control of other people’s money that no one can stop them from appropriating it for their own selfish needs. Ordinary people who want a better life buying what they cannot afford because of easy credit. Financial institutions extending credit to people who cannot afford to pay it back so they can hit them with exorbitant interest on unpaid debts.
Everyone is greedy to some degree – greed in the highest degree is what makes it bad.