torsdag, augusti 27, 2009

Mark to market

Harvardprofessorn Benjamin Friedmans utläggning om problemen med – eller rättare sagt kostnaderna för – den finansiella sektorn kan förefalla lite naiva. Det är liksom det här som är kapitalismen. Men läsvärt likafullt:
One part of that cost is especially apparent just now as students return to universities. For years, much of the best young talent in the western world has gone to private financial firms. At Harvard more than a quarter of our recent graduates who have taken jobs have headed into finance. The same is true elsewhere. The extent to which employees in the US financial sector are more likely to have college educations than other workers has more than tripled over the last three decades.

At the individual level, no one can blame these graduates. But at the level of the aggregate economy, we are wasting one of our most precious resources. While some part of what they do helps to allocate our investment capital more effectively, much of their activity adds no economic value.

Perversely, the largest individual returns seem to flow to those whose job is to ensure that microscopically small deviations from observable regularities in asset price relationships persist for only one millisecond instead of three. These talented and energetic young citizens could surely be doing something more useful.
Läs hela.

Och apropå kostnader för finansiell spekulation, så ser jag att Storbritanniens Financial Services Authority numera stöder Attac-kravet på en Tobin-skatt, alltså en global skatt på finansiella transaktioner.

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