Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Malcolm Gladwell Simpers Over Bear Stearns

Malcolm Gladwell's not my favorite writer--he's Thomas Friedman without the deep reflections on his rides from the airport-- and Gladwell's New Yorker article on the Bear Stearns failure is an exercise in simpering. According to Gladwell, Bear Stearns CEO Jimmy Cayne was "over-confident" and Cayne's over-confidence has something to do with the over-confidence of the now-forgotten British generals at Gallipoli.

Bear's failure also had something to do with playing bridge even though the now-forgotten British generals at Gallipoli didn't seem to have played bridge.

Give Gladwell credit.

He showed that he knew a couple of obscure references even if he didn't write anything that helped us understand the failure of Bear Stearns.

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