Adam Smith (1976) famously said: “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest.” Since late 2008, I have been suggesting that we might equally say that:

It is not from the malevolence of the mortgage broker who writes the NINJA loan, or the ratings agency that anoints it AAA. It is not the malevolence of the arms manufacturer that invents the cluster bomb, or the polluter who steams the planet. It is, rather, from their regard to their own self-interest.