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The Thirty-Year Boom

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Let’s go back to Mayday, 1975, the end of fixed commissions on the New York Stock Exchange and the beginning of the financial deregulation movement in the United States. The advent of competition among Wall Street investment banks seemed like a little thing at the time. But then so did an “Open Letter to Hobbyists,” about software piracy, the following year, from a college drop-out named Bill Gates (“Who can afford to do professional work for nothing?”). Mao Zedong died in September 1976; after a brief behind-the-scenes struggle, new leadership took over in China. Two years later Deng Xiaoping proclaimed