everyday economics and tax impact

Handy Banking Quotes

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Mar 18, 2014    •    980 Views

Car buyers typically display decision fatigue when asked to choose among “4 styles of gearshift knobs, 13 kinds of wheel rims, 25 configurations of the engine and gearbox and a palette of 56 colors for the interior.” Too worn out to choose, they take the default option.

And now, trying to figure out what to share from Fragile By Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce CreditI too have what a behavioral economist would call decision fatigue. For banking history, global banking comparisons and insight about monetary politics, in 500+ pages, the book provides a wealth of information.

Since I could not select a topic, my default is several of the many wonderful quotes from the book:

  • “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” (George Bernard Shaw, 1944)
  • “The genius of the Americans is that you never make clear-cut stupid moves, only complicated stupid moves which make us wonder at the possibility that there may be something to them that we are missing.” (Gamal Abdel Nasser, 1957)
  • “If stupidity got us into this mess, why can’t it get us out?” (Will Rogers)
  • “We are neither of the left, nor of the right, but entirely the opposite.” (Cantinflas, Mexican comedian, making fun of Mexican president Louis Echeverria Alvarez)
  • “Science is built up with facts, as a house is built with stones. But a collection of facts is no more a science than a heap of stones a house.” (Jules Henri Poincaré, La science et l’hypothese, 1908)
  • “To undo…requires more enterprise and vigor…then not to do…This is particularly true where a number of wills is to concur…” (Alexander Hamilton, Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, 1795)
  • “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” (George Bernard Shaw, 1903)


Sources and Resources: For an hour-long summary of Fragile By Design, I recommend this econtalk discussion among Russ Roberts, Stephen Haber and Charles Calomiris while this Foreign Affairs article has a briefer summary. Also, in this econlife post, here is more on decision fatigue and the source of some of the above content.

In Fragile by Design, quotes are from: pp. 60, 203, 256, 366, 451, 502, 566.


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