Thursday, October 15, 2009

Incentivizing Finance

Nice threads following up Calvin Trillin in the Times yesterday on the effects of attracting too many smart people to Wall Steet.

But the bigger incentive problem may be—almost certainly is—the drain of talent from other fields, into finance. If there were more evidence that this drain was producing significant net benefits for the economy, than there would be less cause to worry. To an increasing number of people, it looks as though the financial sector is recruiting the nation's best brains and putting them to work endangering the global economy.

Of course, it also has an effect on all those statistics about the growing wage gap between more an less educated people -- smart, well-educated people aren't coincidentally getting rich through some neutral process -- we've allowed the financial sector to make them more rich, ripping the rest of us off.

James Kwak: corporations become increasingly dependent on complex technology or complex business processes (for example, the kind of data-driven marketing that consumer packaged companies do), you end up with CEOs who don’t understand the key aspects of the companies they are managing. And the underlying problem is that, for all the blather that CEOs and boards spit out about succession planning and the importance of people, the fact remains that the market for CEOs is deeply flawed, as shown for example by Rakesh Khurana.

We're importing this culture into educational administration as well now. Yay.

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