This chapter asks whether the financial crisis was due to the rise of short-term thinking in politics. The author shows how political actors as diverse as Alan Greenspan and President Obama point to “short-term thinking” as endemic to the crash. The story these commentators tell is one of short-term interests overwhelming more rational analysis. The idea that short-term thinking is the culprit in such crises has become a cliché. There are, however, short-term interests that are important. For Custer, the rhetorical preference for long-term interests has a political and ideological underpinning that must be resisted.
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