The casino culture meme has clearly taken hold in reportage of the current Wall Street meltdown.
But let get the metaphor straightened out. Casinos behave a lot more responsibly, and prudently, than these banks, hedge funds and other financial players.
So when we talk about casino culture, we're not saying these financial players are like casinos. No, no, no.
Rather, we're saying that they're like your cousin Mort from Vero Beach or Stockton or Pittsburgh, in Vegas in his Bermuda shorts and black knee-highs, at the roulette table. Playing with the kind of carefree, "What me worry" mania of a man who's gambling someone else's money. Playing, indeed, with the $500 or $1000 that you lent him.
Oh, and I should mention, Mort has a house in the Hamptons and a nice penthouse in Manhattan, thank you very much. When you play with other people's money, see, only the other people are losers.
This is what we mean by casino culture. I can resist closing this post with this most appropriate photo of our man, Johnny Mac (courtesy JedReport):