The New Economic Frugality – Gordon Gekko Was Incorrect


“The purpose, ladies and gentleman, is that greed is great. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through and captivates the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed in all of its forms-greed for life, cash, knowledge-has marked the upward surge of mankind”.

What a fantastic scene from a fantastic picture in 1987, Wall Street. Michael Douglas played with Gordon Gekko, a dazzling and wicked financial genius who finally went to prison. Fast forward 20+ years- what is changed? The sequel Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is in creation (I can not wait to view it-its launch date is September 2010). The movie is put in 2008. Gekko eliminates jail and tries to warn company leaders of this impending economic recession.

What have we transitioned out of Gordo? Surely as a society we’ve discovered by the dreadful experience of the previous two years which actually greed is bad, it is not correct, and it does not work (at least not to the better good). We’re two decades into a cratered market set into motion by the greed and monetary manipulations of the Gordon Gekko’s of a number of the country’s biggest financial institutions.

Nevertheless, the painful truth is that the American people also shares blame for our economic death. A lot of us spent. We assumed only growth and upside. We frequently purchased more than we can afford,’d higher premiums compared to our incomes warranted, purchased holiday homes, automobiles, toys, jewelry, etc. . outside our means and outside our requirements. We thought the fiscal models that stated cash doubles every couple of years. How’s that working for you?

Although the market has stabilized (e.g. not gotten worse) we’re still on the precipice of financial catastrophe and have profound social issues staring us at the face-a health care system whose prices are out of control, aging baby boomers most of whom can outlive their savings, an underfunded social safety system made for men and women who perished in their 60s not their 80s and 90therefore, along with an environment that we have trashed and will need to wash up. And we face the real possibility that our children’s lives will be more challenging and less prosperous than ours. Joyful ideas ไล่จิ้งจก.

My expectation is that we’ve entered an age of “new frugality” where outrageous conspicuous consumption is seen as awful, and financial humility is admired. Saving cash, with coupons, and coughing costs is great. Overspending using oversupplied charge on unnecessary items is poor. I understand that lesser spending on products and services can stymie an economic rebound. So be it. But more frugal and nicely balanced private lifestyles from the American people, together with actual controls which will not permit the Gordon Gekkos to pillage our market will help provide a stage for future equilibrium. Many customers have shifted their lifestyles-some painlessly, but some have experienced enormous personal sacrifice. Additionally past the financial worries of many, there is an inherent shift of more management on the spending together with technologies to provide smarter purchasing and price comparison.

I pray we have learned our lesson and you will find sunnier economic times beforehand. Only the future will tell. I believed 3-hour lines in the gas pumps at the 70s were our wake-up telephone about our overdependence on oil. I guess we understand painfully and slowly. If I look forward to watching Gordon Gekko on the huge screen in the autumn.

Lonny Strum is Managing Director of the Strum Consulting Group that offers strategic business promotion and business consulting to professional services companies and businesses seeking an independent audit of the advertising activities.

Lonny includes a 30 year history in advertising and has been CEO of two of the most significant Philadelphia region communications agencies and was a part of the management group of BBDO/New York, among the country’s biggest advertising agencies.