One of the symptoms (and causes) of the finance curse is the ‘brain drain’ out of other sectors – industry, tourism, agriculture, government, etc. – into overpaid financial jobs. As one academic paper summarises:
“Finance literally bids rocket scientists away from the satellite industry. The result is that erstwhile scientists, people who in another age dreamt of curing cancer or flying to Mars, today dream of becoming hedge fund managers.”
The attached graph from the same paper shows one finance-cursed result: this brain drain is bad for the economy. Now the Financial Times has just written an article entitled ‘The best reader comments and contributions of 2018,” which contains a contribution almost exactly confirming this analysis, but on a personal level:
“Summer 1998: Stephen Hawking gave a talk at the University of Crete campus in Greece. The event attracted quite a bit of attention not just by the students but by the locals as well, who flocked into the campus to hear the man speak. Excellent vibes all around, warm summer night, people sitting outdoors watching from huge screens since the main auditorium was absolutely packed. The talk must had an impact in some people’s lives.
A month or two later I joined the same university to study physics. 5 years later I moved to London. Today I am sitting in front of my computer, pissing my life away, while coding some hedge fund’s strategies. I can’t help but feel some sort of nostalgia, contemplating where things went wrong.”