have all the smart people gone?
cycles are prone to bubbles that grow so big they eventually burst and wreck
havoc on everything around them. We all
know of the historical bubbles: from the Great Tulip bubble, to the Dot Com
bubble to the recent US Housing bubble.
I think there is one more bubble that we hardly recognized but we are
witnessing it burst even as you read this.
am talking about the end of the “smart guy” bubble. You may have never heard of it but for two
long we seemed to accept the idea that there was a special caste of
intellectual elites that knew more than everyone else. We were too deferential
to their ideas and behavior because we bought into the belief that due to their
education, technology or wealth they knew more than the rest of us. We held
back on our thoughts and actions despite our own private concerns that the
intellectual elite might be wrong.
am I talking about? These intellectual
elites were often found in the field of finance. I am talking about the great investment
bankers who funded the housing bubble. I am talking about the hedge fund managers
that for a few years had astronomical returns but today they look rather
pedestrian. I am talking about the
globalist that said the sky would fall if Britain voted to leave the EU. The list goes on and on. These people dominated the media and seemed
to go unchallenged.
there is one thing the last few years has shown there is no fixed intellectual
elite caste. Some have a few moments in
the sun and disappear. Others do not
leave so quietly but in the end they too prove they are fallible.
what does this mean? Of course there are
plenty of very smart people who work incredibly hard. However, they are not demi-gods and they are
fallible. We should all remember that
and guard against becoming too deferential to the new crop of elite who will
certainly step forward. I am reminded by
the phase that was drilled into me as a young auditor. It would be wise to maintain a “healthy
skepticism” the next time we see our society check reason at the door and give
too much reverence for the elite.
like to thank Andersen Tax for its continued sponsorship.
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