What Good is Wall Street?

Interesting argumentative essay, which posits that what most of investment bankers do is socially worthless.  For an industry that doesn’t make a tangible product — they don’t design, sell, or build anything — it is alarming that Wall Street accounts for such a high percentage of America’s economy.

This isn’t an essay of the evils of banking, because “when the banking system behaves the way it is supposed to,” writes John Cassidy “it is akin to a power utility, distributing money (power) to where it is needed and keeping an account of how it is used.”  But things, as we know from the economic collapse in 2008, don’t often behave the way they are supposed to.

Instead, this essay asks the necessary question: for what Wall Street does, or rather for what their social value is, do they make too much money in relationship to that worth?  It’s not something I have an answer for.

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