Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Once again, McArdle nails it...

Institutional investment:
"Really? Really, maybe a 26-year-old MBA might do an okay job of liquidating the financial products division of the world's largest insurance company? I was a 28 year old MBA from (she noted modestly) one of the top finance programs in the country, and let me assure you that there is not the faintest whiff of a possibility that I or any of my classmates could have done an adequate job. We would have cost the taxpayer billions.

Among the necessary assets we would have lacked: 1) adequate skill to maintain the company's portfolio trading strategy in a really screwed up market until they could be wound down 2) contacts in other firms who could buy either our securities, or our line of business 3) experience in executing trades so that they make, rather than lose, money 4) knowledge about current market conditions 5) experience with complicated transactions.

This kind of hyperbolic speculation about an industry which he, respectfully, knows nothing about, is the exact opposite of how thoughtfully he approaches the institutional problems of his own industry."

All of a sudden, everyone is a financial genius, and they could have done a better job than "those greedy jerks at AIG". Well it just ain't so, and don't you forget it.

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