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Deadly Sin Number 2

When the banking mess on Cyprus story broke, it took a few hours for it to become clear to me what the story behind the story was. All the early coverage was about the plan to confiscate portions of people’s bank accounts to meet the requirements of a European Union bail-out. (What?!?)

Then came
the details. Same old same old. Add Cyprus to the list that already included Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Iceland. The whole world came close to making the list in 2008, with the U.S. probably coming closest.

The common thread is Deadly Sin Number 2: greed. When a gravy train goes speeding by, everyone wants a seat. It’s human nature. (During the housing bubble, I did think about buying a ticket.) But all gravy trains eventually crash — the housing bubble, the tech bubble, the commodities bubble, the dot-com bubble, going all the way back to the tulip bubble of the 1630s.

So when you see the next train coming down the track, think. How much is enough? Do I really need more? Can I get off in time? If you do buy a ticket, make sure your seat belt is securely fastened and your tray table is in the full upright position.