Sunday, December 05, 2010

Why much of what investment bankers do is socially worthless

"Banking is important, banks are not". Translated for the field of education, this prescient dictum would say "Education is important. Schools are not." It doesn't surprise me that both banks and schools are ripe for revolution. This must-read New Yorker article correctly describes banking as a utility:

Most people on Wall Street, not surprisingly, believe that they earn their keep, but at least one influential financier vehemently disagrees: Paul Woolley, a seventy-one-year-old Englishman who has set up an institute at the London School of Economics called the Woolley Centre for the Study of Capital Market Dysfunctionality. "Why on earth should finance be the biggest and most highly paid industry when it's just a utility, like sewage or gas?" Woolley said to me when I met with him in London. "It is like a cancer that is growing to infinite size, until it takes over the entire body."

Via Kottke

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