The fear I usually expressed was that the system of international finance had grown so large and complex that no-one knew where the money went (so to speak), let alone how the whole thing functioned. Many people knew a lot about their particular piece of the sausage machine, but neither knew nor cared about the rest provided the profits kept rolling in.
The justification was that ever more complex instruments, derivatives and the like, were needed to keep the cash flowing for major infrastructure and industry projects that were becoming too expensive for "traditional" finance sources. Such as governments borrowing the money and then tendering out the work.
This then led to the need for highly numerate but morally bankrupt individuals to keep the whole machine turning. Well, they actually didn't need to be morally bnakrupt but the culture that seemed to pervade the whole system was that it was all about money, and mainly for the participants, not the recipients (ie the client), if you follow me. Thusly, night followed day, if you cacth my drift.
Anyway I am gratified beyond reasonableness to see that in the UK, the dialogue has gone all sensible. Of course The City of London had continued its dominance of much of the world's financial system but in doing so had grown beyond any sense of proportion. That's why bankers' bonus jokes constitute about 95% of the story lines in the cartoon Alex.
Anyway, cop this lot:
Smith’s invisible hand has fumbled the ball.Here it is in its entirety. So enjoy
Some City activity has been not just useless but positively harmful — for customers, shareholders and taxpayers. To pretend otherwise and act all hurt is plain daft.
“Perversely,” he said, “the largest individual returns seem to flow to those whose job is to ensure that microscopically small deviations from observable regularities in asset price relationships persist for only one millisecond instead of three. These talented and energetic young citizens could surely be doing something more useful.”
Oh, and a commenter used the nom-de-plume Henry Thornton, but the sentiments expressed don't totally match the rhetoric that usually emanates from our home grown Henry. (Disclosure: I don't read there any more, but I'm sure they wouldn't be so dismissive of Adam Smith. But they are probably similar unimpressed with levels of corporate regulatory oversight. But then who isn't, as Mandy Rice Davies could possibly have eventually been led to say?
Finally, you do get a better level of journalism on these subjects in the UK than here, even when the stakes were so much higher and their loss of pride so much more profound, what?