Greed and the expectation of the level of high returns enjoyed during the stock market boom of the late nineties has powered the excess in the credit markets which have lead to the current financial crisis, says Alan Murray, Deputy Managing Editor of the Wall Street Journal.
The pain is just being felt and will likely impact hedge private equity and the broader economy, he told me in this interview done on Thursday at the Journal.
Like the tech bubble, if you got out before the collapse, you’re are in good shape, if not "it’s gonna hurt," he says.
For more about the connection between the current crisis and the tech bubble of the late nineties, check out our interview with John H. Vogel Jr, professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
For more about the role of technology investment bankers and the collapse of the credit markets, see "Calling out the Culprits" an op-ed in today’s Washington Post by Eric Hovde.
What Do Other Tech Observers Say?
I’ve asked some other journalists about the parallels with the tech bubble. I’ll be up updating this throughout the day..and please, everyone, post your comments below.
Erick Schonfeld, Co-editor, TechCrunch:
"I don’t recall the government bailing out tech investors for their stupidity."
Henry Blodget, Editor in Chief & CEO, Silicon Alley Insider:
"They’re definitely related, but I think more accurate to say that both the tech and housing bubbles were symptoms of the same root cause: easy money and credit.
The stock market bubble of the 1990s went way beyond tech, and we never really worked through problem on the way down. Instead, we just transferred it to the housing market and postponed the pain for a few years. And now here we are."
Update: Here’s Henry’s post on the huge news today about Goldman and Morgan Stanley.
Dan Farber, Editor in Chief, CNET News.com:
"Just as with the tech bubble there will be a move toward consolidation, with the stronger companies picking up the weaker ones and increasing their market share as the pendulum shifts back to growth." He writes about this in his post.
Jason Pontin, Editor in Chief and Publisher, MIT’s Technology Review (photo below):
"Investment banks, which had made their profits in the 90s through tech IPOs,
were looking for other financial activities to securitize such as mortgage debt,
and therefore created and began marketing complex derivatives like Credit
Default Swaps which they used as collateral for yet other, highly leveraged
"What’s more true is this:
like Credit Default Swaps were understood by very few people, but were created
by techies called “quants” (short for quantitative analysts) who had an
ultimately unjustified confidence in their ability to model economic behavior.
Bryant Urstadt wrote about these quants, and how they created the credit crunch,
back in November/December 07 in Technology Review in “The Blowup.”
Update: Joe Nocera at The New York Times puts the crisis in context with the tech bubble.
Alan Murray Interviews
This our second interview with Alan Murray. On Friday, we published an interview with him about the redesigned WSJ.com.
— Andy Plesser, Executive Producer