by Mario Rizzo
We are a serious bunch here at ThinkMarkets. We make major advances almost daily in all recognized realms of intellectual thought. So now it is time to illustrate the great principle of unintended consequences of human behavior in a very vivid way.
A brilliant new horror movie was released on May 29th: Drag Me to Hell. It is the story of an ambitious bank loan officer who is keen to get a promotion. Her superior is looking for someone who can make difficult, but profit-maximizing, decisions. Enter now an old lady who has missed payments on her home. She had already been given two opportunities to make up for delays in paying her mortgage. Now she wants a third. The bank officer struggles with the matter – pitting her natural benevolence against the justice of contractual obligation. Since acting on the basis of the latter will improve her chances for promotion, she denies the woman’s request. At that point, all hell breaks loose.
Forget issues of aggregate demand and wealth effects. Attend, instead, to the perverse multiplier of selfishness. If you like Ayn Rand this movie will drag you to hell.