History Repeating Itself


In the artlicle, “OPM Addiction”, Gruvers warned readers about the possibility of history repeating itself. I believe he makes very strong points in trying to prove this idea. He begins the article discussing how the stock market crashed in 1933, which lead to the Great Depression. He continues this with the history of Goldman Sach, and the many decisions they have made to position themselves where they are. He focuses on their attempt to go public again in order expand and to be able to compete in “the increasingly globalized economy with the larger players in both U.S. and overseas.” He went on to saying that they once tried to make themselves public and it failed, and predicts that by trying to go public it will happen again. I agree with Gruvers in this point because there have been many times when history repeats itself. I feel that we are not learning from or mistakes and need to take our history into account when making major decision. The article we read about “Sociological imagination” makes this point as well. He points out, “The consequences of the Goldman IPO have been eerily similar to 1929–increasingly complex financial instruments and increased leverage. Those conditions have been among the key factors that have brought us to a world strikingly similar to what it was in 1933–a stock market crash that had led to an economy that could be entering a depression.”

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3 Responses to History Repeating Itself

  1. aml028 says:

    I agree with the fact that companies are not learning from the past and that is the reason our economy is suffering right now. Large financial companies want to continue to expand and by going public they will have more capital to expand. Unfortunately, these companies do not completely understand the increase in risk that comes with going public. These companies do not realize that they are spending someone else’s money and they have the responsibility of taking care of it. Like Gruver said in his article, if these companies were just spending their own money, they would be much more careful on how their money was spent.

  2. br015 says:

    Insanity defined: doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. I second the fact of companies’ inability to grasp the happenings of the past, consequently repeating other companies’ failing results, which leads to a suffering economy. I believe that these companies know that others have failed going public, but they do not properly understand “why” these companies have failed going public. Therefore, I think that companies should take time to better understand the “ins-and-outs” of previous companies’ failures so they do not fall victim to the same result as their predecessors. I believe that this knowledge would allow others to handle going public in a different manner so that they can ultimately be successful, instead of insanely expecting to succeed by following in the footsteps of failed companies before them.

  3. Hi Katie, great post. After reading the same article and not taking this point away as the major theme, I appreciate the message. I think people may not see themselves as repeating the past in the moment of their decisions. I do agree that others’ money is not something that can be “experimented” with. Something interesting I learned in my HR class: managers in a court case are rarely held liable for ethical faults of the company. I’m not sure if that only applies to a smaller scale than what we are talking about, but it is an interesting note. If managers have nothing to lose, why would they learn from past mistakes? Why would they care if they got caught and the governement wasted money trying to bail them out?

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