Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Some financial futurism

I'm in Boston at a conference on "Managing Retirement Income." There was a noteworthy talk by futurist/sci fi author Bruce Sterling on financial crises (he pointed out that what's happening now is a long way from Mad Max, or the 1990s Balkans) and the future of the elderly, who he thinks are going to become more involved in providing "networked social capital" (doing things that keep themselves useful but that may have little or no financial reward; making a neighborhood more energy-efficient, for example).

He also had some things to say that seemed aimed at discomfiting the assembled financial advisors, such as would their clients, if required to choose only one, opt for a good financial advisor over, say, Google or Facebook? And, he noted, there used to be people who handled the equivalent of finance in Communist countries -- and were smart -- and who vanished as a group.

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