‘In meritocracies, though, it’s the very intelligence of our leaders that creates the worst disasters. Convinced that their own skills are equal to any task or challenge, meritocrats take risks that lower wattage elites would never even contemplate, embark on more hubristic projects, and become infatuated with statistical models that hold out the promise of a perfectly rational and frictionless world.
Inevitably, pride goeth before a fall….It will do (the country) no good to replace the arrogant with the ignorant, the overconfident with the incompetent.
In place of reckless meritocrats, we don’t need feckless know nothings. We need intelligent leaders with a sense of their own limits, experienced people whose lives have taught them caution. We still need the best and brightest, but we need them to have somehow learnt humility along the way.’
Come come, I know what you are thinking. No. Not what you are thinking.
This is an extract of an article in mypaper today by an American called Ross Douthat and reprinted from The New York Times. The author was referring to Jon Corzine, who grew up in rural Singapore, oops, I mean Illinois, a farmer’s grandson, made it good in his studies and rose to become a politician. In his egoistic grandeur, he took big bets on other people’s money and hoping to make a killing and be celebrated as the new financial whiz kid. He failed and lost billions of his clients’ money in MF Global. The story is just beginning. How big is the hole is still unknown.
When God is not willing, no amount of talent or presumed talent can save the day. He was just a gambler. He dug his own hole and is falling into it.