After thinking and reading about this issue for some months now I have settled on the following set of conclusions:
- The stakes are very high so we can expect the financial sector to continue to attract the smartest, most self assured, and most self centered people.
- Knowing that the participants are motivated almost entirely by personal gain, it is probably not fair to call them corrupt -- until they take positions in government. Yesterday's action by the SEC vs Goldman Sachs puts an interesting twist on this one.
- The relative size of the finance and insurance industries to the rest of our economy is an important macro measure of economic health. Finance and insurance certainly must be in the single digits, and 5% would be a good goal.