Friday, April 18, 2014

Krugman: What The Financial Industry Takes And What America Doesn't Get In Return

Krugman's title, Three Expensive Milliseconds, refers to a tunnel being bored through the Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania for the purpose of running fiber‑optic cables which will cut the time it takes trading information and instructions to travel between New York's stock markets and Chicago's futures markets... by three milliseconds. That's right: 0.003 seconds. This tunnel will carry, not people in cars, or freight on rail or in trucks, but bucks on wings, for the exclusive benefit of America's masters of the universe... the financial industry. And the financial industry does great things for... um... well, in any case, probably not you and not me; read Krugman's discussion on that issue.

...  made visible!
In the past 20 years, aside from the broker who handled my tiny investment account before he retired comfortably, I have met two people in the high end of the finance industry. Both were startlingly young. One was going back to college so she could get in on the gravy train. The other one was already rich... dripping, filthy rich, no apologies. I can't say either one displayed exceptional virtues that made them worthy of excessive wealth. They would probably tell me about that invisible hand, and how it pointed its finger at them. I would agree, except that the same hand seems to have pointed a different finger at me and 99.999% of Americans.

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