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Obama and Modern Finance

Posted on April 11 2010 5:10 am
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by Francis Cianfrocca

As far as I can tell, the only reason modern finance has any prestige in broader society is because it gives ambitious young men a chance to retire by the age of 30. Take that away, and all they’re left with is video games. The ambitious young women, on the other hand, will all go into medicine and government.

Among specialists, there’s some prestige because of the mathematical sophistication. What is often called “modern portfolio theory” really did create a new way of understanding the true nature of assets. However, it remains to be seen what happens next in finance, given that we’ve now emphatically disproved the underlying insight of modern finance: that the past predicts the future, by way of log-normal distributions.

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