Bad Money, Good Money

We should not allow our rage at the unseemly behavior of bankers to turn into an all-purpose rant against personal wealth. Sometimes its owners use it in hugely generous amounts for great public gain.

London – The British comic genius Spike Milligan once observed that he would love to have the opportunity to discover that money wouldn’t make him happy.

Big lottery winners, it is claimed, end up miserable, though real-life research suggests that they are as happy as you and I would be with a check for a million dollars. Money, however, can trigger all sorts of other emotions – like rage, for example.

That is pretty much how most people reacted to the stories about bankers’ bonuses, when the great crash of 2007-2008 wiped out banks, businesses, shareholders’ savings, growth, and jobs. There was, as one banker charmingly conceded, a bit of asymmetry between what bankers were being paid and what their banks had lost.

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