Regulating greed and stupidity? No chance, says Intel boss

September 30, 2008

craig-barrett-intel-chairman.jpgEveryone seems to agree the world needs better regulation to prevent a repeat of current turmoil.

But how exactly do you cap greed and stupidity, the driving forces behind today’s property boom-and-bust and past examples of “irrational exuberance” like the bubble?

Craig Barrett, chairman of chipmaker Intel, was not optimistic when he dropped into Reuters offices in London.

“I don’t know what regulation we’ll get but the issue is that people just got over-heated and over-excited and it’s really tough for the government to come in and slap you around and say it’s illegal to get over-heated and excited,” he said. 

“That’s trying to regulate greed and stupidity, which are are two tough things to regulate.”


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

Only big-government leftists like Bush, McCain, and Obama believe that it should be capped. Unless, of course, it is their own greed and stupidity, in which case they better get 700 billion right now to keep it subsidized, or else the world will end.

Posted by russ in PA | Report as abusive

Yes the Free Market would love to stay free and not regulated so a few greedy can continue to cash in at the commoners expense………..but it is clear that does not work very well now doesn’t it. If unregulated Free Market worked well, we would not be where we are. So something must be done to prevent the greed and the stupidity. Will the first attempt to regulate be perfect? Perhaps not… but it sure is better than doing nothing and allowing the few greedy and stupid to continue taking us all for a plunge. Let’s just hope the pendulum does not swing too far and regulate too much. Terri in Washington State

Posted by Terri | Report as abusive

Greed is capitalism’s necessary evil. It usually “works” well, economically speaking, but comes at a high cost, including the worsening epidemic of “pleonexia” — i.e., debilitating greed affecting individuals — and the boom/bust cycles that are getting more frequent and more dangerous. For a good analysis of the valuable and toxic role of greed in consumer culture, read John F. Schumaker’s essay “In Greed We Trust” in The New Internationalist magazine. The link is: 4/07/01/greed/

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

Wow, that’s one depressing article. Good reading though. How can the government regulate greed? It’s like telling the wind not to blow. Greed and fear. They’ve always been with us, and they always will. Trying to regulate them into little boxes will only make the problem worse. Remember – most problems start out as solutions.

Posted by Idaho Jim | Report as abusive

If we had to regulate stupidity we would certainly have a tough time electing a government.

Posted by Nick | Report as abusive