Investment banking is like a cancer

Much of what investment bankers do is socially worthless
[Via Boing Boing]

In “What Good Is Wall Street?” a long, thoughtfully argued piece in the New Yorker, John Cassidy makes the case that “Much of what investment bankers do is socially worthless” — it doesn’t “provide liquidity” or “price risk,” it merely extracts farcical rents for the relatively utilitarian task of moving money around:

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.”


Very good article well worth reading in its entirety. Almost nothing else needs to be said..