No, the Best Science Students Aren’t Becoming Financiers

Nicole Torres, Harvard Business Review, Dec 22, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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Money. It's at the heart of so many endeavours. It grabs the attentions of many top graduates (though if this article is to be believed, not the very top graduates). It's also a system in jeopardy. This visualization of all the world's money has been making the rounds this week. What you should notice is this: there's $80 trillion dollars in the world, and there's $199 trillion of debt in the world. That's not as serious as it might appear (you can borrow money in order to loan it to someone else, which is what banks do). But there's between $630 trillion and $1.2 quadrillion in the global derivatives market. That's where all those graduates going into finance are working. It's a giant vacuum cleaner sucking the wealth and productivity of society and turning it into a gigantic gambling racket. It's more money than can possibly be spent. At some point in the future (could be tomorrow, could be a decade from now) it will implode; all that money will flood back into society and the effective purchasing power of money will be almost zero.

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