Science of Evil and the Financial Crisis

The Belmont Club describes how the WSJ  and the Washington Post, while searching for the culprit in the financial crisis, pass one another like ships in the night, yet both arrive at the conclusion that more regulation could have prevented this mess.  The author, Richard Fernandez, then goes on to wonder whether any regulator could have stopped the gravy train that was sloshing so much gravy.  He then posits an alternative suggested by “ponerology”, which defines itself as the science of evil.  A basic tenet of ponerology holds that approximately 5% of the population is psychopathic, and that over time, they accumulate in the upper echelons of organizations (due to their ruthlessness?) and are well positioned to breed corruption within and without their organization and those related to it.  His closing and provocative thought:

It’s amusing until one realizes how often we discover, at intervals of 50 or so years, how a cohort of people more or less simultaneously learn to game a system until it crashes.

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