9.14.2008

A sad, anachronistic little book

Damn it feels good to be a banker (published, with epically bad timing, earlier this past summer).... Not now it doesn't feel good to be a banker on Wall Street, unfortunately the pain is being spread around (I had dinner tonight with someone who lost their job -- along with 15 others at a local company -- on Friday), and the well-heeled and well-educated will probably come through the cataclysm in better shape than the little guy (like me).

But tonight's headlines on the New York Times site lead with "In Frantic Day, Wall Street Banks Teeter", touché, I'm sick of hearing how the best and the brightest products of the USA's most elite universities aspire to work in this environment, I don't think that it is particularly fruitful, it's just gauche... The origins of the current financial crisis have many roots, but a primary cause (IMO) is the rise of the financial services 'industry', driven by 'quants', finding ever more arcane and complex equations to allegedly mitigate risk.

As it turns out, these bright and mathematically gifted young people were not quite so clever as thought, and now the whole house of cards comes tumbling down with them. I only hope that I'm not caught up too severely in the fallout -- though I have my doubts. And let's not forget that John McCain said that "he just doesn’t understand the economy..."

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