Kathy Sheridan: Crisis is exposing clay feet of strong men, pathetic Churchillian wannabes

Almost every reckless decision ever can be traced to someone persuaded he was a brilliant maverick

Back in 2007, while researching a book on Ireland’s biggest property developers, I was haunted by one question in particular. Why hadn’t they cashed in when they had made a big killing or two and gone off to play golf?

The most plausible explanation came from a leading surveyor who knew them well. People with little money who dream of their options if they suddenly were to get a lot of it, tend to think in terms of freedom, he said; “but these guys think of money as a score... As a rational being, when you’ve broken your back to make a pile of money, do you then go ‘Bang, I’ll hump the lot back on the table’? Of course you don’t. But that’s what the developers did. Repeatedly.”

The Irish Times
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