Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Main St and Wall St

Main St is having a lot of trouble coming to terms with Paulson's package, thinking that it constitutes a big giveaway to the evildoers who put us into this mess. But lets put aside the moral questions, because right now it's not a moral question, but a practical one. Main St needs to ask itself who financed its construction? More often than not street construction is funded by bond issuance, and to do that you need working capital markets.

So the question is, how can we have sufficiently responsive and innovative capital markets to motivate a bunch of really smart people to work insane work weeks year in year out, without creating a race of arrogant, entitled, overpaid and sometimes downright evil investment bankers? Therein lies the rub.

Part of it is that a class of 27-year olds needs to get back to thinking that $300,000 is a lot of money.

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