Tuesday 8 September 2009

More Technical Support Humour

Another cartoon from Private Eye

Perhaps I'm emphasising a little too much with the son here, but if you're going to act as unofficial technical support, you might as well have a uniform

Sunday 6 September 2009

What Does the Financial Sector Actually Produce

Considering the billions that have been poured into the world financial system to stabilise and cancel out all the bad bets that the financial whizz kids made, you have to ask what does the financial sector produce.

Go back 40 years, before the Big Bang and the stock market did a good job of allowing companies to raise money via share issues. While it was a bit of all old boys club and insider trading common place, decisions made on the markets didn't reverberate as much as they do today. That money would be used to invest in more plant and machinery and ideally employ more people.

Skip forward to today and what happens to the trillions flowing around the system. While some is still used to invest in new plant, you do wonder what the money invested in credit default option and swaps was for and for whom.

Add into the fact that a lot of the investments were made by banks on their own accounts and you start to question the actual benefits of the financial services. They were too blind or stupid to see the huge risks they were taking, yet we had no choice but to bail them out as otherwise they would have taken us all down. According to the Observer today, the FSA was hours from shutting down cash machines

Their defenders will point out all the tax they have paid over the years, but surely this is no where near the money we have paid out to bail them out.

One last thing - just think of the worlds problems we could have made a start on solving, if all the brain power that went into building algorythmic trading systems went into looking at the issues of global poverty, clean water and climate change