1280px-Flag of Brazil.svg     Bandeira-dos-Estados-Unidos-2000px  

Blog A game of big payoffs: private profits, social losses

A game of big payoffs: private profits, social losses

A_game_of_big_payoffsBy Philip Read

In  “Games at Work” we highlighted that games have certain characteristics: manipulative behaviour, paradoxical consequences, repetitiveness, contagiousness. There are payoffs in games, and one sure sign that games are being played is that everyone is pretending they are not. Unfortunately we now have a very destabilising game being played on a grand scale which we can call “Private profits, social losses”.

In this game there is a period of speculative build up, followed by a crash, followed by some kind of bailout. The dynamics of the game are as follows:
During the speculative build up one will frequently hear the following : need to repeal constricting legislation, new era, remove government interference in the market etc. During the crash and bailout one will frequently hear the following (from the same people): too big to fail, a matter of national security,  need for government support all we will all suffer, necessary evil etc. And  in the side there will be a game of pretending to be outraged and curb executive pay in the wake of government bailouts.

I believe this game is reaching dangerous proportions which can lead to serious social unrest if not dealt with. The degree of manipulative behviour has reached such heights in the latest iteration of this game (see for example the latest revelations regarding the role of Goldman Sachs in AIG, and the role of the New York Fed in suppressing the information), that the potential for paradoxical consequences (such as social unrest, which destroys the wealth and safety of those who appear to be getting the payoffs short term) is increasing. I note for example the attacks on the former CEO of Bank of Scotland as a small example.   The private profits reaped during the last boom by Wall Street, and the scale of the bailouts paid for by society at large is now so out of proportion that it seems amazing there has not been rioting on a large scale.

This game has been played before (1989 S&L bailouts, 1992 Bank of New England, 1998 Long Term Capital Management bailout) but the scale has not been the same. In Eric Berne’s analysis of games he talks about games operating at three levels of intensity going from gentle to violent.
A first-degree game is one that is socially acceptable in the agent's circle.
A second-degree game is one from which no permanent, irremediable damage arises, but which the players would rather conceal from the public.
A third degree game is one that is played for keeps, and which ends up in the operating room, the courtroom, or the morgue. This situation might well result in a third degree game.


 I hope that we all (investors, regulators, banks, citizens) find a way to construct a meaningful dialogue about this game in order to prevent its recurrence, or at least minimize the scale.

 

 

 

Comments   

 
0 #1 Total Forex Jet 2014-09-29 11:17
I blog frequently and I genuinely appreciate your
information. The article has truly peaked my interest.
I will take a note of your site and keep checking for new information about once a week.
I subscribed to your Feed too. Total Forex Jet Scalper Stranger: https://www.rebelmouse.com/forexjetscalper/
Quote
 

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Buy Online Now!

amazon

barnes noble

josseybass

bamm com gaw 

Games of the Month

Token Involvement

To play Token Involvement, a manager conducts opinion surveys, focus group, or involvement meetings to communicate that "your opinion matters", but these activities are done only to make people feel involved rather than actually to involve them. The real intention is just to get rid of the complaints and for managers to show their management that they´re doing the "right" thing-involving their people in the decision-making process. The same game is played when leaders involve their direct reports supercially, soliciting their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on their views on department strategy but relying exclusively on thei own view. Cynicism becomes employees´ultimate response to this game, and they lose respect for management. Perhaps evens worse, when management really needs employees to be committed and contribuing to a major project, they have great difficulty securing this involvement.

Read more...

Praise for Games at Work

jacopoA terrific read not only for senior leaders and executives but also for employees seeking growth in complex organizations. Goldstein and Read dissect the interpersonal dynamics that affect a company’s performance, provide a framework to understand the games that are commonly played in businesses around the world, and offer practical tools to correct these behaviors and improve the organization’s effectiveness.

Jacopo Bracco Executive Vice President DIRECTV Latin America

Read more...
Go to top

All rights reserved © Games at Work    -   Developed by Infoture