Dumb Networks and Smart Capital

Wriston, Walter B.


Dumb Networks and Smart Capital by Walter B. Wriston for The Cato Journal: A Interdisciplinary Journal of Public Policy Analysis


More than 50 years ago there was a popular song that went, "O Baby, what I couldn't do with plenty of money and you." In those days what most of us thought of as money was limited to hard cash, travelers checks, and bank deposits. A few adventurous souls had a credit card of one kind or another, but their widespread use ran counter to our Depression culture, which decreed that one should save up to buy appliances. Having expended five years of our lives in the Second World War, my generation wanted the appliances now and was prepared to borrow the money to get them. This new attitude contributed to a sea change in the way many Americans looked at money, credit, and markets. The postwar boom at home and the expansion of trade abroad required broader and faster markets.