It was based on something high-flying financier Ivan Boesky
said shortly before he was exposed as a fraud and sent to prison.
Nevertheless, we bought into it then and the sentiment resonates even
now. George Bush, after all, encouraged us to shop in the face of
But is greed really good? Does it capture the “essence of the
evolutionary spirit? Is Geckoism a hardheaded, pragmatic approach or
utter nonsense? These were serious questions a generation ago, but they
have long been answered. The truth is that while greed might work in
the movies, in the real world it’s simply naive.
Few people ever thought that greed was an admirable personal quality,
merely that it worked for society as a whole. However, that notion was
always somewhat disingenuous. The word greed has negative connotations
because it implies taking more than your fair share. The idea was that
by doing something personally bad you can do a public good.