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A blog on financial markets and their regulation
Needless to say a hunter gather that did not correctly conceive a solution to providing food or shelter probably died along with their progeny, while a modern Wall Street executive that made a similar conceptual mistake would receive a substantial bonus.
I have absolutely no idea whether Crabtree’s speculations about the genetic fragility of human intelligence are correct or not, but I am certain that the problem of moral hazard in finance is a real one.
Meanwhile, finance students who complain about the technical complexity of modern finance may do well to ponder Crabtree’s claim that “life as a hunter gather required at least as much abstract thought as operating successfully in our present society”. Computing the right way to hedge a complicated derivative is hard, but as Crabtree would say “non-verbal comprehension of things such as the aerodynamics and gyroscopic stabilization of a spear while hunting a large dangerous animal” is probably as hard or harder.