Rethinking the wall street path

reason's picture
Rank: Chimp | 12

As a former investment banker, I can't help but take concern with young college kids who's shoes I was once in. I totally get why everyone wants to get into wall street: 1) the money 2) creating 'economic value' and speaking with CEO's 3) prestige and status.

I felt the same things. I thought not only was I creating a better life for myself and future family, but I was doing 'good' in the world.

I can't convince anyone otherwise. Some things you'll just have to see for yourself. But for those who aren't thoroughly convinced, I encourage you to keep on digging. A lot of you have good heads on your shoulders. You want to do something meaningful in your lives, and everyone around you from your school, your parents, mainstream society etc. is telling you this is it.

Trust me, the money does nothing more than make it that much more difficult to have a truly loving relationship with friends and family as you can't connect with out it. It also makes us that much more weaker and lost.

Don't make things any more difficult than you have to. If you have any doubt, step back, reflect and re-evaluate before you commit. It gets so much harder to find yourself and pull yourself away from this world, once your in it. And trust me, although most will have to learn the hard way, it will never make you happy. Not your initial analyst job or wherever you go afterwards. Furthermore, there are some real issues and injustices in this world, that require as much help as they can get, perhaps this can be where your talents lie.

For anyone interested, me and my wife have a website you can check out:

reasonofthesoul.com

I made the leap onto wall street myself, so I can't blame others for doing it. The only advice I will give is always keep your eyes open. Don't get lost. And use your god given intelligence.

Comments (47)

Jul 26, 2011

You sound like my mom. I don't like it.

Jul 26, 2011

Excellent advice; SB for you. It seems like a lot of folks are obsessed with prestige and killing it and forget that money ranks about #10 and prestige about #20 on the list of life's priorities.

Read your blog but see mostly philosophical stuff, some of which I agree with (greed), some of which I don't (metaphysical nature of life). Do you have any practical advice on your experience- how you made the jump from Wall Street to "real life"?

Finally, what is your take on Malthusian economies/ecosystems, and what do you think the planet's sustainable carrying capacity is? I am all for solutions that increase the world's carrying capacity for people or help limit population without human suffering, but how much long-term good are we doing if we prevent a famine by increasing consumption and population? My big fear is that yes, as social creatures, we need to do what we can to fix the injustice and suffering immediately in front of us, but a lot of foreign aid in the past- everything from digging wells to buying villages hefers to food aid- has served more to increase consumption rather than carrying capacity.

Jul 26, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

Do you have any practical advice on your experience- how you made the jump from Wall Street to "real life"?

F

Agreed, since while I agree with OP in principle, I just don't see how to get in without money or extraordinary talents (genius level physics aptitude, etc)

Jul 27, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

Finally, what is your take on Malthusian economies/ecosystems, and what do you think the planet's sustainable carrying capacity is? I am all for solutions that increase the world's carrying capacity for people or help limit population without human suffering, but how much long-term good are we doing if we prevent a famine by increasing consumption and population? My big fear is that yes, as social creatures, we need to do what we can to fix the injustice and suffering immediately in front of us, but a lot of foreign aid in the past- everything from digging wells to buying villages hefers to food aid- has served more to increase consumption rather than carrying capacity.

I thoroughly agree with these thoughts and have a few random ones of my own:
- logically the human population cannot indefinitely contine to grow, unless we find a way to colonise other planets. A relatively constant human population (whatever that is or should be) seems inevitable.

  • there is generally an inverse relationship between economic standard of living and birth rate (although high standard of living countries can still experience strong population growth primarily through migration and better healthcare etc.). This provides an argument for foreign aid projects that seek to improve the standard of living in developing/3rd world countries, even if (as you point out) they may place additional consumption strain on the world in the short/medium term. Obviously birth rate is also influenced by culture, religion, education etc.
  • a stable population should in theory lead to much lower annual GDP growth. Growth would only be driven by innovation rather than sheer workforce/output. This obviously presents various economic issues but my view is that if the entire world can become "middle class" then GDP growth of 0-0.5% annually (together with inflation, wage growth, etc. of 0-0.5%) should not matter. This is basically an entirely different paradigm of stability and sustainability rather than consumption and growth and is obviously light years away.
  • a stable population would also involve a short/medium term period where the world population is considered to be "aging" in comparison to previous generations. This would also present various challenges.
Jul 26, 2011

Josh Brown had a great post today on his 1-year anniversary of leaving the brokerage business after 10 years in it. Everyone on WSO should read it:

http://www.thereformedbroker.com/2011/07/26/lesson...

Jul 26, 2011
Edmundo Braverman:

Josh Brown had a great post today on his 1-year anniversary of leaving the brokerage business after 10 years in it. Everyone on WSO should read it:

http://www.thereformedbroker.com/2011/07/26/lesson...

Good read, thanks!

Jul 26, 2011
Edmundo Braverman:

Josh Brown had a great post today on his 1-year anniversary of leaving the brokerage business after 10 years in it. Everyone on WSO should read it:

http://www.thereformedbroker.com/2011/07/26/lesson...

Needed that. Thanks for posting. If I had a SB I'd toss you one (not that you need it).

Jul 26, 2011
IlliniProgrammer:

forget that money ranks about #10... on the list of life's priorities

Isn't that wholly personal? Money might rank 10th for you, but it may be the 2nd highest priority for others, for instance.

Also, I bet a million starving African kids would strongly disagree with you.

Best Response
Jul 26, 2011
seedy underbelly:
IlliniProgrammer:

forget that money ranks about #10... on the list of life's priorities

Isn't that wholly personal? Money might rank 10th for you, but it may be the 2nd highest priority for others, for instance.

Also, I bet a million starving African kids would strongly disagree with you.

For those kids, food ranks higher than money. And for those parents, their kids rank higher than money. So yes, those starving Africans agree with me.

Obviously it varies from person to person to some extent but I think that for a mentally healthy human being, money probably ranks behind integrity, their family, their friends, their health, their development as individuals, and what they believe is the root of meaning in the universe. This is really where rational economics breaks down. Ask any healthy human being how much they'd sell their kids into slavery for, and despite all the claims of economists about rational individuals always having a price, most of them would tell you to go to hell.

So no, money is not one of life's top five priorities for most mentally healthy westerners.

Jul 26, 2011

"Furthermore, there are some real issues and injustices in this world, that require as much help as they can get, perhaps this can be where your talents lie."

Let's use seedy's African kids as an example of a real issue and injustice in the world...Let's assume I'm a banker and I make regular charitable donations (let's also assume they are quite above what an average person would donate, because I'm "killing it" right?). You are telling me that I would do more good by quitting my banking job (cutting off my generous contributions) and getting directly involved somehow? If this type of migration happened on a larger scale, you would eliminate a major source of charitable contributions. How are you going to feed these kids in Africa? With one of your life-changing stories? I heard those also cure AIDS.

I agree with seedy. It's completely personal. And why can't you be both? Why can't you earn your money and still be responsible? Don't tell me what to f*cking do.

Jul 26, 2011

What if the purpose of my life is all about fame, prestige, money, etc.? I die and I live for those.

Jul 26, 2011

"Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and character."

im the one who has to die when its time for me to die. so let me live my life the way i want to. - lil wayne

Jul 26, 2011
blastoise:

"Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and character."

im the one who has to die when its time for me to die. so let me live my life the way i want to. - lil wayne

Nope, that is a Jimi Hendrix quote. Weezy is a talentless faker with a staff of writers. The former was a real artist.

Jul 26, 2011

Wall street should fire all bankers since they do "no good" and shut down all investment banks. Then we can see DJA plummet to 1000 points and we can live like the good ole 1930's. Instead this time it will be permanent. I always wanted to experience global famine!

No company will ever be allowed to raise capital or make acquisitions. Honestly, what kind of moron would let a company grow, create jobs, and provide something of value to society?

Guys don't become a banker because you do "no good" to society...instead you guys should become entrepreneurs...but just keep in min that raising capital or selling your company in the future won't be an option because those god damn bankers will be dead.

Jul 26, 2011

no 1 is gunna argue with pikachu bc he is a yellow fluffy mouse

Jul 26, 2011

Thanks for the good reading guys.

It doesn't change anything, and I'm still going for it, but it's a good reminder not to get too caught up in this bullshit.

It's just a job.

Jul 26, 2011

I tossed ya one Eddie, solid read there thanks

Jul 26, 2011

my cock ranks higher than life. fact.

Jul 26, 2011

Lol @ people who are going into this field with doubts.

Always be improving

Jul 27, 2011

dumb loll

Jul 27, 2011

"don't tell me how to live my life"!! Said the angry teenage girl as she shut the door to her room, clutching her pillow.

Calm the f down guys, the dude isnt preaching just offering a refreshing take.

Furthermore you guys' obsession with freedom of choice is laughable given your obessive focus on being accepted within narrowly defined social circles. You think the money you earn, the clothes u buy, the cars, the apts, the restaurants, bottle service, friends u choose, school u go to, place of employment is out of 'freedom of choice'? Many of these are vehicles for long term social acceptance, not many of the choices u make are yours but merely reflections of approved social constructs directing your life...

Funny that people get so offended when someone offers a way to lead a life when those very same people let external constructs all but run their entire lives

Jul 27, 2011
DurbanDiMangus:

you guys' obsession with freedom of choice is laughable given your obessive focus on being accepted within narrowly defined social circles.

^ agreed, if bankers ran the world, it would be like living in a borg cube

Jul 27, 2011
DurbanDiMangus:

"don't tell me how to live my life"!! Said the angry teenage girl as she shut the door to her room, clutching her pillow.

Calm the f down guys, the dude isnt preaching just offering a refreshing take.

Furthermore you guys' obsession with freedom of choice is laughable given your obessive focus on being accepted within narrowly defined social circles. You think the money you earn, the clothes u buy, the cars, the apts, the restaurants, bottle service, friends u choose, school u go to, place of employment is out of 'freedom of choice'? Many of these are vehicles for long term social acceptance, not many of the choices u make are yours but merely reflections of approved social constructs directing your life...

Funny that people get so offended when someone offers a way to lead a life when those very same people let external constructs all but run their entire lives

That is all well and good, but IMO it doesn't apply to everyone. Some people actually LIKE their jobs as bankers.

Besides, I don't think that's the point. Everyone knows bankers are necessary, and everyone knows that some people get in the industry for the wrong reasons. The point and the problem is how much importance you give to your job. You should get into the industry if you really like what you do, and don't think you are better than anyone because of the money you make or because your business card says Goldman Sachs. Your job doesn't define who you are, it's how you are as a human being and who you hang out with. You are the same as a waiter, an artist, a programmer or an engineer. And what can make you better than them is not fucking related to the fact you're in Goldman's TMT, is whether or not you are a better person than them. And the person who don't think like that are the problem for this industry, if only for the image they give of the rest of us. But some people don't behave like you say, they have the same life as before getting into banking. I still go to the same places friday night with my friends from high-school. And I do hang out with friends form the bank, but only the down to earth ones who don't think they are superior to anyone.

And I agree with the one who said you can contribute as much if not more to charity and developing the world being a banker. With money, contacts, etc... Not everyone is cut out to go to India to dig wells, in the same way not everyone is made to be a trader/IB/whatever. The point is do what like, do what you're good at and don't forget what's important and contribute as much as you can.

Jul 27, 2011
Maximus Decimus Meridius:
DurbanDiMangus:

"don't tell me how to live my life"!! Said the angry teenage girl as she shut the door to her room, clutching her pillow.

Calm the f down guys, the dude isnt preaching just offering a refreshing take.

Furthermore you guys' obsession with freedom of choice is laughable given your obessive focus on being accepted within narrowly defined social circles. You think the money you earn, the clothes u buy, the cars, the apts, the restaurants, bottle service, friends u choose, school u go to, place of employment is out of 'freedom of choice'? Many of these are vehicles for long term social acceptance, not many of the choices u make are yours but merely reflections of approved social constructs directing your life...

Funny that people get so offended when someone offers a way to lead a life when those very same people let external constructs all but run their entire lives

That is all well and good, but IMO it doesn't apply to everyone. Some people actually LIKE their jobs as bankers.

Besides, I don't think that's the point. Everyone knows bankers are necessary, and everyone knows that some people get in the industry for the wrong reasons. The point and the problem is how much importance you give to your job. You should get into the industry if you really like what you do, and don't think you are better than anyone because of the money you make or because your business card says Goldman Sachs. Your job doesn't define who you are, it's how you are as a human being and who you hang out with. You are the same as a waiter, an artist, a programmer or an engineer. And what can make you better than them is not fucking related to the fact you're in Goldman's TMT, is whether or not you are a better person than them. And the person who don't think like that are the problem for this industry, if only for the image they give of the rest of us. But some people don't behave like you say, they have the same life as before getting into banking. I still go to the same places friday night with my friends from high-school. And I do hang out with friends form the bank, but only the down to earth ones who don't think they are superior to anyone.

And I agree with the one who said you can contribute as much if not more to charity and developing the world being a banker. With money, contacts, etc... Not everyone is cut out to go to India to dig wells, in the same way not everyone is made to be a trader/IB/whatever. The point is do what like, do what you're good at and don't forget what's important and contribute as much as you can.

Agreed. Do what your good at, contribute. I agree with everything you are saying. But what is value? What is good? What is contribution?

Does meaning lie merely in beating the game? What is the difference between a society of merely surface perfection (i.e. world peace, charitable giving, economic efficiency) and a world of robots? In fact, why not everyone live a virtual existence?

Do you choose investment banking? Or has it been chosen for you with the delusion of free will?Is there meaning in material ends? What is the meaning in economic progress and in what form? What is the meaning in scientific progress and in what form? Is it merely coincidental that your logic mirrors that of our mainstream value system? Or perhaps you both independently reached the same conclusions?

What is a human being? Where does our true meaning and essence lie? Can you exist in the quiet without stimulation? Can you exist without the physical form of your social identity? If we were to take away your wall street job, education pedigree, posessions, status etc, could you still control yourself and find meaning? If not, are you truly free?

What is it that you like? What is it that one is cut out for? What say do you have over anything? When have you genuniely made a decision? Did you make a decision when you chose yale over harvard? But, was not college chosen for you? Did you make a decision when you decided republican over democrat? But were not many social end goals chosen for you? When do you make decisions? Where does the question truly start? And if you are blindly made to chose without awareness over the first question, are you not then a slave?

There is a certain logical order to your question, yet is it not predicated on already existing norms and institutions? And are you unaware that these already existing norms and institutions are predicated on preceding norms and institutions and so on? Who is truly driving you? You are certainly conscious, yet do you make your own conscious decisions, or is it merely that this appearence is created? Are you aware or do you appreciate these initial questions that were asked 300, 1,000 and 5,000 years ago? Are you simply not meant to concern yourself with true questioning? Where does the meaning lie in your life? Exactly, who cares, if we can't live this social existence thrusted upon us, then is there a point to living at all? Are we not then raised today to be of the weakest minds? Can you not see your chains?

Jul 27, 2011

Haha, UFO your statement killed me, borg cube! Awesome, just awesome!

The orginal poster has it right. It all depends on your motivation. If you honestly just want to earn gobs of cash to spend on hookers, you may want to look at a different career field. Same with the desire to just party (it's easier to become a hippie, those mofos can party).

Some of us find the work interesting. I know there are better ways to contribute to society, but I haven't been presented with that opportunity. In the interm this career is interesting, lucrative, and provides some insights I couldn't gain any other way.

Jul 28, 2011

But...
But what other careers will I pursue if I'm not going after Banking? I can't go back to wanting to be in biglaw. I won't do it. And I'm not smart enough for med school. Banking was the only profession capable of satisfying my massive entitlement while having expectations commensurate with my capabilities.

Jul 28, 2011

if wall street isnt the right path, can you suggest a good alternative for econ/finance majors?

Jul 29, 2011

i dont get what the fuss is about over OP/why people see it as so great

all it said was "think about careers other than banking" but in like 250 patronzing words

i mean common guys are you really so narrow minded this is revolutionary? if so we have bigger problems on our hands

Jul 29, 2011

Anyone who thinks working on wall street is a way to contribute positively to this world is a fucking retard. You can work an eternity on wall street and when you die you would have contributed nothing positive to this world. If you worked in a different field, say as a cop, and in your entire career only arrested 1 murderer or rapist or pedophile, you contributed more than 99% of wall street by saving someone's life or preventing a horrible crime on an innocent and you could die knowing your existance improved the world.

Jul 29, 2011
shera:

Anyone who thinks working on wall street is a way to contribute positively to this world is a fucking retard. You can work an eternity on wall street and when you die you would have contributed nothing positive to this world. If you worked in a different field, say as a cop, and in your entire career only arrested 1 murderer or rapist or pedophile, you contributed more than 99% of wall street by saving someone's life or preventing a horrible crime on an innocent and you could die knowing your existance improved the world.

You're a moron.

Just because the contribution is not as directly visible as putting a murderer in jail, does not mean it isn't there. Optimizing capital allocation is an incredibly important function. Good capital allocation makes a society more prosperous, which allows for more goods and services for all individuals. This includes better healthcare, more food, more leisure, and a better quality of life all around.

If bankers/financiers don't add anything to society, then why do they exist? Just because? You think owners of companies enjoy paying a couple percentage points of the value of their company when they sell it just for the heck of it? Get lost, idiot.

Jul 29, 2011
alexpasch:
shera:

Anyone who thinks working on wall street is a way to contribute positively to this world is a fucking retard. You can work an eternity on wall street and when you die you would have contributed nothing positive to this world. If you worked in a different field, say as a cop, and in your entire career only arrested 1 murderer or rapist or pedophile, you contributed more than 99% of wall street by saving someone's life or preventing a horrible crime on an innocent and you could die knowing your existance improved the world.

You're a moron.

Just because the contribution is not as directly visible as putting a murderer in jail, does not mean it isn't there. Optimizing capital allocation is an incredibly important function. Good capital allocation makes a society more prosperous, which allows for more goods and services for all individuals. This includes better healthcare, more food, more leisure, and a better quality of life all around.

If bankers/financiers don't add anything to society, then why do they exist? Just because? You think owners of companies enjoy paying a couple percentage points of the value of their company when they sell it just for the heck of it? Get lost, idiot.

Playing devil's advocate here, but the first poster was mentioning specifically a single person. One single banker probably does less good for the world than a single cop. Yes efficiency is important, but is saving a couple thousand on your mortgage more important than saving a life or arresting that crack dealer in your neighborhood? A cop's direct effects are not quantitative data so you can't really compare the two. And if you want to talk institutions, it's again debatable that a bank is more helpful than a police force. I don't think there's a right or wrong answer. The two professions have their place.

Jul 29, 2011
alexpasch:
shera:

Anyone who thinks working on wall street is a way to contribute positively to this world is a fucking retard. You can work an eternity on wall street and when you die you would have contributed nothing positive to this world. If you worked in a different field, say as a cop, and in your entire career only arrested 1 murderer or rapist or pedophile, you contributed more than 99% of wall street by saving someone's life or preventing a horrible crime on an innocent and you could die knowing your existance improved the world.

You're a moron.

Just because the contribution is not as directly visible as putting a murderer in jail, does not mean it isn't there. Optimizing capital allocation is an incredibly important function. Good capital allocation makes a society more prosperous, which allows for more goods and services for all individuals. This includes better healthcare, more food, more leisure, and a better quality of life all around.

If bankers/financiers don't add anything to society, then why do they exist? Just because? You think owners of companies enjoy paying a couple percentage points of the value of their company when they sell it just for the heck of it? Get lost, idiot.

I like this. SB

Jul 29, 2011
alexpasch to shera:

Just because the contribution is not as directly visible as putting a murderer in jail, does not mean it isn't there. Optimizing capital allocation is an incredibly important function. Good capital allocation makes a society more prosperous, which allows for more goods and services for all individuals. This includes better healthcare, more food, more leisure, and a better quality of life all around.

If bankers/financiers don't add anything to society, then why do they exist? Just because? You think owners of companies enjoy paying a couple percentage points of the value of their company when they sell it just for the heck of it? Get lost, idiot.

im going to agree with ballmouse here and betray my own kind if u will - Alex, what in the fkying Fuck are you talking about? How do i as an investment analyst covering /managing a l/s folio of enterprise software and saas names truly contribute to the well being and advancement of humanity? Why because my asset allocation brings efficiency to a corner of the global equity markets? Because my activities and those of others like me influence liquidity and allow for proper valuation and capital raising activities so one more fucking small cap co can raise funds to build the nth version of a hyper cloud storage architecture?.. Is it because we contribute ten paltry fucking grand to Non profits per annum? Again, direct contribution IS important and i dont need to say i add as much value to humanity as a fucking policeman teacher or firefighter to sleep at night. You know why? Cuz its not true and i live in fucking reality, and im allright with my place in the world. Your argument is incongruent as fuck.

Aug 2, 2011
alexpasch:

You're a moron.

Just because the contribution is not as directly visible as putting a murderer in jail, does not mean it isn't there. Optimizing capital allocation is an incredibly important function. Good capital allocation makes a society more prosperous, which allows for more goods and services for all individuals. This includes better healthcare, more food, more leisure, and a better quality of life all around.

If bankers/financiers don't add anything to society, then why do they exist? Just because? You think owners of companies enjoy paying a couple percentage points of the value of their company when they sell it just for the heck of it? Get lost, idiot.

That's a very weak argument. "Good capital allocation makes a society more prosperous"? LOL where did you learn that line? How do you explain the prosperity of nations without all these IBers like Norway, Australia, Denmark, Finland, New Zealand etc. all of which outrank the USA in "prosperity"?

And to end your argument by saying they exist and therefore they must add to society is a juvenile argument. Pedophiles and retards, much like yourself, exist in society "just because".

Aug 1, 2011
shera:

Anyone who thinks working on wall street is a way to contribute positively to this world is a fucking retard. You can work an eternity on wall street and when you die you would have contributed nothing positive to this world. If you worked in a different field, say as a cop, and in your entire career only arrested 1 murderer or rapist or pedophile, you contributed more than 99% of wall street by saving someone's life or preventing a horrible crime on an innocent and you could die knowing your existance improved the world.

Merrill Lynch employed 60,000 workers back in 2008. 90% of them would've been bent over and rammed had "useless" Merrill Lynch bankers not sell the company for $29 a share (70% market premium, 40% book premium). This sale saved tens of billions of $$$ in retirement funds and life savings.

Aug 1, 2011
The Phantom:
shera:

Anyone who thinks working on wall street is a way to contribute positively to this world is a fucking retard. You can work an eternity on wall street and when you die you would have contributed nothing positive to this world. If you worked in a different field, say as a cop, and in your entire career only arrested 1 murderer or rapist or pedophile, you contributed more than 99% of wall street by saving someone's life or preventing a horrible crime on an innocent and you could die knowing your existance improved the world.

Merrill Lynch employed 60,000 workers back in 2008. 90% of them would've been bent over and rammed had "useless" Merrill Lynch bankers not sell the company for $29 a share (70% market premium, 40% book premium). This sale saved tens of billions of $$$ in retirement funds and life savings.

Also, I think they were talking more about the social benefit of the individual's job. Not the corporations benefit to society... Doctor saves lives, bankers make IPOs. (Which I guess you could argue benefit society on levels)

Aug 1, 2011

arguably investment bankers, like lawyers, are over-utilitzed because society has settled at an inefficient nash equilibrium (primarily true in M&A for bankers, same for lawyers in litigation). We seem willing to accept it because we like the other advantages of the system (better corporate governance for M&A, improved rule of law of law etc.)

As for the value equity research adds, its analogous to the value a brand consultant adds. They coax out latent demand for the product and result in more mutually beneficial trades. The problems are with the incentives in the system (how sales trading revenue works, 2/20 incentives) and governance (specific and system risk) but that also exists in those professions you find admirable. For instance, there are incentives for cops to be overzealous and doctors to be overly defensive and lack of governance that allows both police brutality and unnecessary medical imaging procedures.

Honestly, I think the greats are in it because they love the game, whether that be dealmaking, market marking or whatever strategy their fund runs. Again analogous to why great litigators argue in court and excellent surgeons strive to do more and more complex surgeries. Those in it for the wrong reasons have the HUGE benefit of being able to move into something else without sacrificing much (exit), the sunk cost of working on the street just aren't that high, which is both a blessing and a curse depending on your vantage point,

Aug 1, 2011

I think people are confusing direct contribution to society with functioning in an area that a good society needs. It's one thing to go out and give someone a band aid or do surgery that saves lives. It's another thing to raise money for a hospital to be built or bring a drug to market. One is more direct and emotionally satisfying, the other is not.

Finance is the cold hearted maintainance of the financial system that our free society functions on.

Aug 1, 2011
UFOinsider:

I think people are confusing direct contribution to society with functioning in an area that a good society needs. It's one thing to go out and give someone a band aid or do surgery that saves lives. It's another thing to raise money for a hospital to be built or bring a drug to market. One is more direct and emotionally satisfying, the other is not.

Finance is the cold hearted maintainance of the financial system that our free society functions on.

This. I think somebody has to do the maybe considered "unethical" jobs, but sometimes in society I think it takes control of people when they have too much power in these kinds of jobs. I think these jobs are good for society given that the people who work in these industries (mining, banking, energy for examples) need to have more social responsibility and ethics. But I doubt this will ever happen. Corporate ethics suck and they always will. But now I'm way off topic

Aug 1, 2011

banking i its purest sense is most definitely a value-added thing for society...it has been around basically as long as mankin d has engaged in enterprise and it clearly makes all better off. The issue is that the global banking machine is now way bigger then it would be in any free market. This is because banks for the most part own the governments in most developed countries and therefore can write the rules to ensure there growth at the expense of other less-connected people. Prime examples of course being TARP, TALF and the other alphabet soup of transfer payments from the US taxpayer to the trading accounts of large banks. So "banking" is definitely value added, but the banking industry today is parasitic. IMHO.

Aug 2, 2011
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