Sunday, June 25, 2017
................for the sake of complexity doesn't seem very productive:
"In London I am often asked to give talks about developments in the finance sector to a general audience. One question which routinely comes up is “what do people who work in the finance sector, in those large office blocks and in the City of London and Canary Wharf, actually do?” And the answer I give is that, to an extent that almost defies belief, what they do is trade with each other."
"When I was a schoolboy in Scotland in the 1960s, joining the Bank of Scotland or the Royal Bank of Scotland was a career for the boys in my class who were not going to get good enough grades to go to leading universities. Even when a few years later I began my teaching career at Oxford, careers in the City of London were mostly for undergraduates who were not academically distinguished but nevertheless socially polished and well-connected. All that has changed, and not altogether for the better, as was evident when the Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank of Scotland failed in 2008, after three centuries of prudent success, under the stewardship of able individuals with good degrees from the finest universities and business schools.
"Larry Summers, former president of Harvard and US Treasury Secretary, once observed that finance had once been the preserve of people whose primary skills were those of good companions at the 19th hole of the golf course, but had become the province of people with the sophisticated mathematical skills required to price complex derivatives. Summers, with skills better adapted to solving differential equations than conviviality at the 19th hole, noted this shift with evident approval. I am not so sure."
-Quotes retrieved from this John Kay essay