Mistakes were made

New York City meets Munich

Looking back

September 16th, 2011 · No Comments · Finance, Work

This looks familiar.My former employer Nomura is in the news for having some layoffs in the works. Hopefully my quitting might mean maybe one person who actually wants to be there can now stay. I doubt it, though.

I didn’t write much about work when I was employed at Nomura, mostly for two reasons: prudence and I had very little good to say. Now the first reason doesn’t apply, and the second reason could make for some good stories.

I can honestly say that in the technology groups at Nomura, I had the pleasure of working with some very bright, talented and gracious people, both in New York and abroad. I can also honestly say that I weep to think of all those skilled people putting so much effort into the shithole that is Nomura, and to the wasteland that is the industry of investment banking.

I understand why those people do it, though. It’s why I did it: Wall Street pays great and the technology problems can be interesting and challenging. But the whole of investment banking does almost zero social good, and can do vast amounts of social harm. It’s legalized grifting. Investment banking produces no real wealth, it merely skims wealth from other things.

Thanks to the investment banking industry, the United States is now a cautionary tale about how a first world democracy can become a kleptocracy and the people don’t even notice.

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