Did hippies cause the US financial meltdown?

No, it was the 'Poon. Remember it well, guy had red hair, head band, stash bag on the belt. Thought it was pretty funny. But “hippy” as opposed to “counterculture” was long gone before the first 'Poon hit the streets.

It became one of those minor cultural legends that get so commonly used you don’t even notice them anymore. Like the mild guy who’s pushed too far, and then the inner tiger is unleashed. Stuff like that. Car commericals play to it obliquely. “Remember how far out you were in college? That’s why you’ll love this loud, shiny car! Because you’re a lot dumber than you used to be!”

My own set of acquaintances were for the most part pretty unremarkable. In the words of the Dylan song, “some are mathematicians, other’s are carpenter’s wives”. Others did pretty well in software. Pretty well, not as well as the guys who talked them into signing stuff. Me, I liquidated my position in Motorola after the 8086 chips, figured that was as fast as they were gonna get, time to bail. Put all my money into a OS called CPM, how can a program with a puckish command like PIP possibly fail? Oh, well, Gates is using my money to fight malaria, so what goes around spins around.

Besides, seems to me the creative and innovative financial minds who cooked up this turd stew were considerably younger than myself. Yuppie scum.

This is the type of silly but effective propaganda that the Right are masters of. Start with the notion that hippies, who are second only to Klansmen in the amount of scorn and derision they get from Americans of all political views, were responsible for the financial crisis. Subtly remind the viewer of the popular conception of “hippie = liberal,” flash some images of Obama and Nancy Pelosi, and voilà: Democrats caused the crisis and you should vote Republican in 2010.

Do you remember what issue it was?

Either it’s not here, or someone will have to buy me a ticket to Lourdes.

You’re right, it isn’t there. But it was.

The financial meltdown was a perfect storm. Among the factors:

A good-faith effort by liberal factions to extend mortgages to the incompetent and separate the mortgage owners from the responsibility to pay them back. The roots of this part of the problem go back to efforts to legislatively address accusations that mortgage lenders redlined high credit-risk groups. Think Community Reinvestment Act, e.g. The logical end-point of this sort of effort was the no-doc, no-down, no-job mortgage. The Liar Loan. And once we give it to the poor, why then anyone should be able to get it on it.

A separation of risk from sale of the mortgage. Think mortgage broker business. The person writing up the mortgage makes a profit from selling the mortgage but the mortgage itself is packaged up for administration elsewhere.

An unrestrained financial world greedy enough and clever enough to bundle up mortgage-backed securities and created further financial instruments ultimately tied back to the soundness of those mortgages with the pretense that they were as historically sound as old-fashioned mortgages.

A general psychologic shift that personal responsibility is not a paramount virtue; that we are all thieves; that it’s just fine to walk away from “predatory lenders” who took advantage of us.

…and so on.

So much blame to go around. That’s why no heads really rolled, in Finance or in Government.

And the hippies? The ones who became naive do-gooders in government are to blame along with the ones who became Wall-Street capitalists.

In the Pedant’s personal philosophy, the ultimate blame is on the ones who borrowed incompetently and defaulted, but then I’ve always been a personal responsibility kind of guy.

Then you shouldn’t be irresponsible and/or gullible enough to fall for the ridiculous fantasy that equal-opportunity lending legislation like the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 :rolleyes: was a major factor in the economic meltdown of 2008. As BusinessWeek’s Aaron Pressman noted in his Investing Insights online column,

More horseshit. The government officials who contributed to this crisis weren’t the “naive do-gooders” but rather the stooges and fellow-travelers of unscrupulous robber-baron radical capitalists.

I don’t know (and I doubt anybody else does either) how many former hippies wound up in each of those categories, but it seems ridiculous to assume that “hippies” in some form or another must be “the ones to blame”. I think a lot of the people to blame for this crisis probably never were hippies (especially considering that many Wall Street players are young enough to be hippies’ children or grandchildren).

No way. There were restraints on mortgage qualifications for generations. Those were removed by incredible pressure from bankers. The same people who removed all the safety features of Glass/Steagal. I missed where the unqualified for mortgage people got political power. I missed where they could force mortgage companies to toss out all standards, repackage and immediately dump the mortgages they were writing ,that they knew were dangerous. Sorry but it was Bernanke, Paulson, Greenspan , Gramm, and the other money changers who smelled blood in the money pool. They did it.

Balderdash, sir! Tommyrot!

How does one, in “good faith”, extend mortgages to the incompetent? Were the liberals so utterly retarded that they forged ahead with this thing above universal disapproval from all competent professionals? Has it usually been your experience that financial concerns are harshly treated by legislators? The major banks helpless before the liberal juggernaut?

Artfully worded. So, these were “accusations”, then? Are you suggesting that these accusations are false, or are you content with implying?

The Community Reinvestment Act theory has been clobbered. It has been rent asunder, its heart broken, then torn up and thrown into a fire. This is an ex-theory. Its bogosity is legend.

Of all of them, the one I like best is how the CRA was an embodiment of the culture of permissiveness, a corruption of our true American values of rugged individualism and the sanctity of private property. They never quite managed to bring in a theme of disrespecting our troops, but they must have worked on it.

There are dopers about who have far more expertise on this than I, I will defer to them with my usual becoming modesty. That is, if you really want to try and stick by this dead parrot.

How about its the fault of the people who developed and marketed credit default swaps and then got the citizens of the US to back them when they went belly up? That would be AIG, Goldman Sachs, Lehman Bros, Merrill Lynch, etc. How many of these top execs and board members were at Woodstock? And aren’t the attendees of Woodstock pretty much retired by now?

A couple of them. Sold the brown acid.

I do agree OP is silly, but wonder if there are studies comparing the career paths of the “longhairs” and the “crewcuts” of 40 years ago.

For years all we heard was how hippies ended up teaching social sciences in Universities so they could despoil the minds of innocents. Now we find out they were all on Wall Street. Do conservatives even listen to what comes out of their mouths?

I did find one longitudinal study of hippies, but it seems to have looked at only a few dozen individuals and I don’t know how representative it would be.

Yup. I had just graduated from high school at the time of Woodstock, and hippies (who were hardly equivalent to Woodstock attendees) were older than I was. That would put them in their 60s, a bit old for traders. Not that too many people went from Woodstock to MBA programs anyway.

I also want to add that the mortgage companies who were the worst about no doc mortgages weren’t banks, and so weren’t even covered by CRA. The danger of the crap Chief Pedant is spewing is that it blames everything but deregulation for crash, which makes it more likely to happen again. I’m kind of sick of the “the poor people came in with guns forcing the companies to give them a mortgage” screed, which ignores how the mortgage companies targeted unqualified buyers, often convinced people with reasonable fixed rate mortgages to refinance into subprimes, and defined a compensation system encouraging the writing of bad mortgages.

No, no, you don’t get it, the real blame lies with the poor people for not having enough personal responsibility:

See, according to Chief Pedant’s philosophy, trying to exploit poor people’s ignorance to scam them for money by selling them something they ultimately can’t afford doesn’t count as a failure of personal responsibility. Falling for the scam is what counts as a failure of personal responsibility.

The Boomers just need to admit they were terrible for this country and move out of the way. Seriously now, hippie jerks or yuppies or helicopter parents. It don’t matter. You’re all worthless.

See, painting with broad strokes is fun.

And in this case, true.

Hippies aside, is it inaccurate to blame the Boomers for the state of the economy, that there the ones whose watch things have unwravelled during? And is it wrong to think that they’re current the ones with the most power in both business and politics, when compared to the Silent Generation and Gen-X both? If feels accurate to me, but I’m hardly unbiased.

So the problem is that the hippies who ran Wall Street retired, and it was taken over by kids educated during the Reagan Revolution. They didn’t even need text books, they just got cocktail napkins with diagrams of the Laffer curve.

Which they ate instead of looking at the diagrams.:cool:

Say yes. Say yes. Say yes. Say yes!


No, of course you’re correct. The notion asked about in the OP is without any kind of support.

Would have loved to be able to say ‘yes,’ though.