The bankruptcy of big financial companies

September seems like an unusual time. Seven years ago, we saw the surreal falling down of the World Trade Center; this year, the bankruptcy, or the like, of a number of financial superpowers, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, AIG, seems to be more influential in the future than 9/11.

I am still a little dumbfounded. These companies are legendary in finance for more than a century, and they clash without any sign (at least to me). They had been my dream companies. When I was taking an MB A course, my idea was that, working for these companies equals a huge success, and I did not have the tiniest ambition to be employed by them. In my view, people in these companies must be young, energetic, fluent in English, dressed formally, and with suave behaviors and speech. They work hard in big offices, dealing with millions and billions of dollars, and at night, they enjoy themselves in high-end pubs and clubs. Whatever they talk about the market, the stock, the money, or the future, may appear in the cover page of the newspaper.

How come these smart people ruin these famous names? In such a theatrical way. Well, maybe a little less than that of Nick Leeson who single-handedly cause the collapse of Barings Bank.

But I like to see the bankruptcy, or the falling down, of these big companies. It is just natural to see birth and death, of a person, or a company, or even a country. Nothing exists forever. The good thing of their bankruptcy is, they give chance to those young and small companies, whom, by nature, will not, or can not, do too much harm to others because of their size in scale, or more importantly, by their youthful mind. They are growing, they need customers, they create better service and products for their customers, they compete with each other. One day, when they become old and big, they will have to defend themselves by creating fences and destroying other small, creative, fast-growing companies, even at the cost their customers, whom, at that time, are not their first priority, because these big old companies have been revered for such a long time that they have forgot they were created to serve.

I like this atomic society of economy. Free market is the best choice that I believe. I am still a little upset about the Bush administrations’ bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; it looks like a socialistic type of governmental behavior. There is no free lunch and no free economy. People should be responsible for their own behaviors, and the collapse of these financial big names will cause some trouble to some people in a short term, but in the long run, will give them a good lesson, that you can not depend on the government, or any others. That lesson may help American people to reduce their consumption a little, when everyone should be serious about their debt.


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