What Good Is Wall Street?

by phil on Friday Nov 26, 2010 1:55 PM

I read John Cassidy's article in the New Yorker, which asks the question, "What good is Wall Street?" Here are my thoughts:

If at its height, the financial sector accounted for a third of profits in the US, I expect that in 50 years, it will account for two-thirds.

I believe that the government's relationship with the financial industry will ultimately increase in coziness.

And the reason people aren't rioting is because of food stamps and television. Without boredom or starvation, there can be no protests.

I don't see the financial sector as a cancer, though. Rather I see it as fat and a repository of excess economic activity.

With GDP inexorably rising, something has to be done with all that wealth.

Financial workers are playing a nearly pure abstract game, and the majority of American workers filter their income through simulations of human value. For example, farmers in America keep making corn that the government subsides and throws away, just so we can preserve a diorama of bucolic Americana.

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