Department of "WTF?!"
Morning Must-Read: Charles Evans: Patience Is a Virtue When Normalizing Monetary Policy

Morning Must-Read: Michael Lewis: Occupational Hazards of Working on Wall Street

Michael Lewis: Occupational Hazards of Working on Wall Street: "Technology entrepreneurship will never have the power to displace big Wall Street banks...

...in the central nervous system of America’s youth, in part because tech entrepreneurship requires the practitioner to have an original idea, or at least to know something about computers, but also because entrepreneurship doesn’t offer the sort of people who wind up at elite universities what a lot of them obviously crave: status certainty.... The question I’ve always had about this army of young people with seemingly endless career options who wind up in finance is: What happens next to them? People like to think they have a 'character', and that this character of theirs will endure.... It’s not really so.... The best a person can do... is to choose carefully the environment that will go to work on their characters. One moment this herd of graduates of the nation’s best universities are young people.... The next they are essentially old people... gaming ratings companies... designing securities to fail... [to] make a killing off the... dupe[s]... rigging various markets at the expense of... society... encouraging... people to do stuff with their capital... they never should do....

All occupations have hazards. An occupational hazard of the Internet columnist... is that he becomes the sort of person who says whatever he thinks will get him the most attention rather than what he thinks is true, so often that he forgets the difference. The occupational hazards of Wall Street are... the pressure to pretend to know more than he does... hard to form deep attachments to anything much greater than himself... enormous pressure to not challenge or question existing arrangements.... So watch yourself, because no one else will.

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