The exercise was meant to illustrate the powerful instinct people have for finding causes for any effect, and also for creating narratives. “The

A big bonus was about as well concealed on the Salomon Brothers trading floor as the results of a hot date in a high school boys’ locker room.

It said something about the ability of the free marketplace to mold people’s behavior into a socially acceptable pattern. For this was capitalism at its most raw, and it was self-destructive.

When banking stops, credit stops, and when credit stops, trade stops, and when trade stops-well, the city of Chicago had only eight days of chlorine on hand for its water supply. Hospitals ran out of medicine. The entire modern world was premised on the ability to buy now and pay later.

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