In the 1970’s, Goldman Sachs CEO Gus Levy famously encouraged his employees to be “long-term greedy.” In order to understand how far we have fallen as an economy and culture, it’s important to understand the meaning of the phrase and reflect upon it.
“Long-term greedy” implies two very important principles that define a well functioning and ethical free market economy. First, is the unrepentant belief that earning a good profit and striving for financial success is a reasonable and admirable goal for both individuals and corporations. Second, is the understanding that such financial success should be earned, not stolen. If one’s focus is the long-term, the implication is that you’re committing yourself to building something real, and that the marketplace will ultimately reward you handsomely for your product or service.
Throughout my childhood, and much of my adult life, I naively assumed this was the way the U.S. economy functioned…
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