Mijn toespraak tot de nieuwe lichting financieel deskundigen

NEW HAVEN – In deze tijd van het jaar vinden in Amerika en elders veel afstudeerbijeenkomsten plaats. Degenen die de universiteit verlaten krijgen daar dikwijls een paar woorden van advies te horen voordat ze hun diploma in ontvangst nemen. Aan degenen die belangstelling hebben voor een carrière in de financiële sector of aanverwante sectoren - verzekeringen, boekhouding, recht of ondernemingsbestuur – bied ik de volgende overwegingen aan.

Ik wens jullie het allerbeste toe nu jullie de academische wereld vaarwel zeggen om een betrekking in de financiële sector te aanvaarden. In de loop van jullie carrière zullen de Wall Street-firma's en soortgelijke instellingen jullie nodig blijken te hebben. Jullie opleiding in de financiële theorie, economie, wiskunde en statistiek zal jullie goed van pas komen. Maar jullie lessen op het gebied van de geschiedenis, filosofie en literatuur zullen net zo belangrijk zijn, omdat het essentieel is dat jullie niet alleen over de juiste instrumenten beschikken, maar ook nooit het zicht verliezen op de doelstellingen – ook die op sociaal gebied – van de financiële sector.

Tenzij jullie hebben gestudeerd op een andere planeet, weet je dat de financiële sector met ernstige kritiek te maken heeft gekregen – waarvan een groot deel gerechtvaardigd is. Zij heeft de wereldeconomie in haar ergste crisis doen belanden sinds de Grote Depressie van de jaren dertig. En je hoeft alleen maar even bij een paar van je klasgenoten langs te gaan, die hebben meegedaan aan een van de Occupy-bewegingen over de hele wereld, om het wijdverbreide ressentiment te voelen tegen financiers en de bovenste 1 procent van de inkomensladder.

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