As you’d expect, The Economist has a theory.
UPDATE 1: Sheldon Richman makes a related point:
It comes down to greed.
That’s what the economic turmoil is all about for many people. Too many of us were greedy, and now everyone is paying the price. Luckily this belief is wrong, because if it were right we’d be up the creek…
I see people blaming greed for our problems everywhere [however].
… Ayn Rand had it right–as long as self-interest is held to be morally corrupt, the market order will be suspect.
That’s Rand’s fundamental point in her defence of capitalism. As Stephen Hicks points out, you can’t have a value-free economics. As long as self-interest is held to be morally corrupt, the market order will remain suspect: no matter how much economic education you might have, the fundamental battle is still an ethical one.
UPDATE 2: Gaia at Life on Marrs notes “The most surprising stat to me is that at one point in January its sales were higher than that of Obama's Audacity of Hope. Gives me a slight sense of optimism...”
It almost makes one think about change you could really believe in.