After the dot-com meltdown, a friend who works outside of the business world asked me where all the venture capital had gone.
Um, some of it went into my pocket.
Consultants (me, at the time, though most of my work was not in dot-coms), infrastructure providers, commercial real estate providers...and the bankers.
And sellers and purveyors of Aeron Chairs, later to grace the offices of non-profits and other buyers of used office furniture, also prospered.
This American Life did a tremendous show last week about the mortgage industry food chain: where that money came from, and where it has gone.
They connect the dots, showing points of convergence -- and even agreement -- (as they say) for folks who read the WSJ editorial page, and those presumed to be a bit more left-leaning.
(Missing: the complicity of local tax authorities and public officials, glad to have the coffers filled by property taxes based on fat assessments. It's only a 60 minute program!)
My early career was in banking, and I still remember my managers drilling me with the mantra: "The First Rule of Banking is Know Your Customer".
The program shows how financial culture's "first" agreement was violated, over and over.
Download it here. (It's also available for purchase on CD: and excellent tool for forward-thinking managers in the financial world who recognize this point in time as a good teaching moment.)
But if you want an Aeron chair now? It might be a bit too late, but you can always check Ebay!
(Or connect with Aeron via the Herman Miller website, where I snagged this photo.)