The Avenging Amateur

America is a nation of passionate laymen, and they're our best hope for thriving after the crisis

Illustration by Barry Blitt for TIME

The financial crisis came about because we got complacent, depending on all-knowing financial experts — mortgage lenders, Wall Street sharpers, the Federal Reserve — to run our system expertly. But then the experts did the same thing, imagining that they had laid off all their risks on other experts. Until finally the last expert down the line turned out to be just another greater fool, and the system crashed.

We still need experts. But we can no longer abdicate judgment to them or to the system they've cobbled together. This country, after all, was created by passionately engaged amateurs. The American...

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