Those deconstructing the Great Recession from the standpoint of "how did we get here?" in service of the aim of avoiding a repeat have astutely honed in on the role of flawed decision-making on the part of consumers in at least partially causing the crisis.
From buying too much house, too soon, with too little down and on screwy loan terms, to floating an unaffordable household lifestyle on credit cards, poor decision-making can — and indeed has — made and broken our household finances and our national economy.
As with weight loss, I’ve found that with personal finances, people tend to know what they should be doing, but often find their decisions and actions to be in opposition with these shoulds.
In an effort to both illuminate why people do the financial things they do — especially the "bad" things — and help us all make better financial decisions going forward, behavioral economist and finance professor Meir Statman has written "What Investors Really Want: Discover What Drives Investor Behavior and Make Smarter Financial Decisions."