Thursday, October 15, 2009

Too Smart for Wall Street's Own Good?

Writing in The New Republic, Noam Scheiber wonders if the "smart guys" destroyed Wall Street. An excerpt:

Until about the 1970s, the firms that held most of the power on Wall Street were establishment institutions. The downside of this is that Wall Street tended to be inbred, clique-ish, unimaginative, inefficient, intellectually flabby, self-satisfied, and effete. (This was largely the three-martini-lunch crowd that had gone to elite schools and whose fathers and grandfathers had held more or less the same jobs.) The upside was that it was inbred, clique-ish, unimaginative, inefficient, intellectually flabby, self-satisfied, and effete. Which is to say, the global economy wasn't exactly at risk of being super-charged by these guys. But neither were they going to flame out spectacularly.

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