I have written two prior columns about Tyler Cowen’s praise of the faux “hyper-meritocracy.” Cowen assumes that productivity determines personal wealth and is measured by wealth. He celebrates financial managers as the exemplars of this hyper-meritocracy. In my first column I explained that it should have given Cowen pause that his meritocratic vanguard caused the greatest loss of wealth to society and that so many financial CEOs not only destroyed societal wealth, but also became wealthy through accounting control fraud. I explained how the bank CEOs that led the accounting control frauds also created the Gresham’s dynamics that suborned other professions (e.g., appraisers, loan brokers, and auditors) that cause bad ethics to drive good ethics out of the professions. Cowen could not have picked a less meritocratic group as his heroes than the financial CEOs running the systemically dangerous institutions (SDIs).
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