Book, Economy, Review, The Age of Selfishness, Thought, USA

The Age of Selfishness


I believe that no person in this world is considered selfless. Being selfish, or merely doing everything for the sake of our own, is humanity in real life. But how far, do we allow ourselves to neglect the altruism, within our society?


Politics and economics, two sectors that has been a quint essential of human development, are the main player in every nation in this world. Countless people has taken expertise in these subjects, leads to tons of theoretical view published nowadays, as people understood that to take over the world, you need to master the skill of both. Economics control how the world finances themselves, the welfare of society, and the distribution of money. While in politics, you learn and set strategy on how to control people.


But what people did leave behind most of the time, is how moral dimension, could turn both of these subjects, to a completely different side of coins.

It’s easily accessible, you know, readings on the economical view of the reason behind 2008 financial crisis, how the establishment of the famous credit default swaps led to house bubble effect, and the rest of the history. What’s been missing is the story behind how this option could actually rise and implemented, which in the end cause the catastrophe.


To simplify, this book made a new common sense that moral erosion, is indeed the main reason of this disaster. When objectivism, the new philosophy Ayn Rand introduced, has been injected to the mind of not only business player, but also leader as crucial as Alan Greenspan, the US Federal Reserve mastermind in terms of crisis, it could bring a whole new financial term that seemed foreign before, and at the end lead to whatever happened in the late 2008.

Objectivism, is the ideology who believe that the right of individual were paramount and not to be interfered with by the majority. They believe that everyone needs to be true to himself and his own ideals, and the idea of government and any system that reduced individual rights for the sake of common goods or as we called it nowadays collectivism, were need to be destroyed to achieve a proper life.
Basically, according to objectivism, true prosperity and freedom can only be gained through unrestrained free market.

Now imagine when Greenspan apply this idea to financial world, when he turned the tightly-regulated banking system, to an unregulated one, opening a lot of boundaries that used to be inaccessible for financial agency to do. To make it worst, financial agency were coordinated with each other tightly, making these huge mistakes became a systematic disaster, when one group failed, the rest will only need to sit back and wait for their time to come.

His reasoning, which is that reputation, is the only effective and needed way to desolate companies from building unsafe structures. Regulation, administration, and government law, are not necessary, especially in securities trading area, because every ups-and-down in financial market were calculated based on reputation built by customer satisfaction.
But what if, the reputation itself, is engineered by group of people, whose head were profit-obsessed, they turn blind eyes while building a financial house of cards? When investment banks, who should be giving a constructing advice to companies who wanted to expand their businesses, are being selfish and prioritized their mind to profit-enhancing program, whether it was ethical or not. When credit-rating companies were manipulated by those whom they have to asses, for of course, more profit to both parties.

Crisis is in fact, the moment when the collapse of ethics combine with poor regulation took place. The obsession to turn this world into a free market leads not to personal freedom as we fantasized of, but to corporate freedom. Company seems to allow predatory, value destroying behavior to become more profitable, and able to risks everything, even honest work ethics.

I could not explain much further in financial terms, since I have not enough knowledge about that sort of thing, but I do entirely enjoy the way this book explain a financial crisis, from a human-psychology point of view. How in fact one tremendous thought, could affected how human system works.
The most important part of this book, which I found extremely needed for both younger and older spectrum of society, is the fact that although we are day by day moving towards a liberated world, somehow being conservative in the form of having regulation in financial institution is still important and substantial.


Most importantly, is to incorporate kindness to consideration, in every decision we took.
Inequality will never leave this world no matter what we did, what we invent, what we construct. The way we handle differences, is the core value of being a fair and descent human being.



To be selfless is not a sense of weakness. To share and contribute for a greatest possible good is always, always a good thing.
One of the best book I’ve ever read so far.

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