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For A High-Powered Career, It's Finance vs. Tech

Publication Date: 
October 30, 2013
Source: 
The New York Times - Dealb%k
Author: 
William Alden

Professor Vivek Wadhwa's debate with Yale Economist Robert J. Shiller on Wall Street vs. Silicon Valley is covered by William Alden of The New York Times. 

Robert J. Shiller, the Nobel-winning economist, and Vivek Wadhwa, vice president of innovation and research at Singularity University, spar at a conference debate.

Wall Street or Silicon Valley? That's the choice facing many ambitious students across the United States looking to gain a toehold in a powerful industry after graduation.

 

...

 

The issue was put to a debate at a conference on Wednesday, with two academics squaring off over which industry would be more attractive to top talent. Robert J. Shiller , the Yale economist who was recently awarded the Nobel prize , found himself defending basic financial products like mortgages against the attacks of Vivek Wadhwa, vice president of innovation and research at Singularity University.

Wall Street's major achievement in recent years was "cooking the system," Mr. Wadhwa said at the Buttonwood Gathering, which is sponsored by The Economist.

As for world-changing financial innovation? That amounts to "world-changing financial skimming," he said.

"I can't believe I'm even having this debate," he added.

Mr. Wadhwa praised Google and its self-driving cars, and he asked the audience to imagine a future in which 3-D printers performed important tasks and water was unlimited. He hailed crowdfunding as "transformative."

...

And yet, the industry continues to face an image problem – as Mr. Wadhwa's attacks demonstrated. Mr. Shiller acknowledged as much.