It seems even more fitting today than ever before; the scene where Michael Douglas, in the classic Oliver Stone 80s movie ‘Wall Street’ showcasing capitalism gone wrong, addresses shareholders with his “Greed is Good” speech. At the time, Wall Street was going through its standard ethical cleansing and soul searching that seems to come along once a decade.
It’s the usual thing: get as much money as you can, cut some corners here and there, get caught, feel bad, do some jail time, let the regulators do their thing (“fix the system”), go on vacation, then come back cleansed, and repeat.
But let’s not confuse greed with ambition, entrepreneurship and rewarding risk. These are all good ingredients for capitalism to work properly. It’s like anything in life: moderation is key. But then again, if it were boring old conservative thinking, we wouldn’t have life’s little joys like The Beatles, Extreme Sports and Bikini Destinations in HD.