We can’t help feeling that we today are smarter
Martin Wolf is certainly correct that “further financial crises are inevitable” (March 20). Let me add one more reason why this is so — another procyclical factor rooted in human nature. This is the intellectual egotism of the present time: the conviction we can’t help feeling that we are smarter than people in the past were, smarter than those old bankers, regulators, economists and politicians of past cycles, and that therefore we will make fewer mistakes. We aren’t and we won’t. The intellectual egotists of the future will condescendingly look back on us in their turn.