^z 2nd October 2023 at 7:20am

The dot-com bogosity of the past several years isn't worth much attention any more, now that (most of) its ephemeral nature has become obvious. Of course, that means that now is precisely the time when front-page newspaper and magazine exposés proliferate, bravely to shine their spotlights on examples of outrageous financial abuse. In American football when players throw themselves upon an already-fallen opponent it's called "piling on". Yes, it's great fun, but it's also against the rules. Recent popular reporting includes a lot of piling on. This is in especially poor taste when it occurs in the same fora where puff-pieces so recently lauded the genius of new techno-entrepreneurs. Memory is short. (Remember 1984 and doublethink? "We've always been at war with Oceania." Hmmm. Who was that Man of the Year again? What was that best-selling book title?)

But a few exceptional writers deserve praise for taking a long-term view and holding to it — even as their colleagues were trumpeting a fantastical New Era wherein an economy's productivity could grow at over 10% annually without effort. Floyd Norris of the New York Times kept his honor (and his sense of humor) throughout the mania. Going farther back, Andrew Tobias (author of The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need) spoke truth to hype for decades. Still earlier, Benjamin Graham (The Intelligent Investor) exemplified reason and good sense in the financial sphere. And see MoneyWisdom (20 May 2001) for an excerpt from a 1885 issue of Harpers Bazar — advice which, if followed today, would preserve and protect wealth far better than any legislation or regulation.

(see also The Cancer Ideology (19 May 1999), Just the Job (4 Dec 1999), Food Net (9 Jun 2000), Rail Web (3 Jan 2001), Pop Goes (19 Jun 2001), Hopeful Rejoinders (23 Jun 2001), Looming Disaster (6 Aug 2001), ...)

TopicEconomics - TopicSociety - 2002-02-06

(correlates: NoRetrenchment, GoodFortune, GrowthAssumptions, ...)