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I read this part about management being locked in, and I wasn't really convinced by it.

  1. Management was receiving enormous bonusses too, and still is. I don ot know if their long-term personal profit expectations were that different from the rest of the company.

  2. I read the "dancing while the music plays" quite different then the article writer. He seemed to read it as if Citigroup management really wanted to quit, but was forced by circumstances to continue 'dancing'. I read it as a much more literal referal to musical chairs: everyone was hoping they would reach a chair when the music stopped, and from the context I presume they expected pension funds and other buyers of their financial constructions to be the ones left standing.

  3. Even now that banks clearly lost (or are losing) much more than they expected, are they really losing more than they profited originally from the boom? I don't now, it's hard to tell how much of past and present profits are 'artificial-boom-related'. Perhaps someone else has a better view on this?

 Altogether, the groupthink seemed much more a symptom than a cause of the situation. It really looks more like a good-old 'tragedy of the commons': everyone knew their would be some crisis someday, but the crisis wouldn't be confined to the ones causing it. So better to make as much as you can in the meantime. In such a situation, 'groupthink' that assumes the crisis is still far off can actually be quite rational. Even better would be to help cause the crisis and accurately guess when it would happen, as Goldman Sachs appears to have done. But not contributing at all has little benefit
by GreatZamfir on Wed Feb 13th, 2008 at 11:32:56 AM EST
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