Bloomberg headlines a major feature with "Robots Are Coming for These Wall Street Jobs."
And it's in the present tense.
The third sentence in the article reads:
"The fraternity of bond jockeys, derivatives mavens and stock pickers who've long personified the industry are giving way to algorithms, and soon, artificial intelligence."
Investment Genius - How 20th Century
What is most alarming in the reporting is the mention of investment wizard Steve Cohen.
Sure, in the past few years, Cohen has taken some body blows to his reputation because of alleged insider trading at his former hedge fund SAC.
But no one can throw shade on his innate genius about investment and his ability to select equally talented money managers for his firm. Next year, after settling with the SEC through superlawyer David Boies, he will again be able to receive funds from outside investors.
However, in the Bloomberg article, shock: Cohen is experimenting with automating his money managers.
Could his new firm Point72 wind up to be essentially a room full of software systems doing their thing?
And only a few human geniuses will be around to connect all the dots in the unique Cohen manner?
Or, perhaps, the software will also see those relationships and indicate exactly the investment decisions which will be made?
Goldman Sachs Advertises for Tech Talent
The article also notes that Goldman Sachs securities unit is posting more help wanted for tech talent versus the kind of typical Wall Street investment type.
Of course, the world of Wall Street is not the only sector which could eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Blockchain Renders Human Effort Too Slow, Expensive, and Lacking Cybersecurity
Those who have kept current with developments in blockchain technology recognize that it also could gut lines of work such as:
- Creating contracts and many other transactional tasks in law. In blockchain they are called "smart contracts." Venture capitalist Michael Arrington did his real estate deal in the Ukraine with a smart contract.
- Formatting, storing, retrieving, and distributing documents such as titles to a house. Goodbye all those backroom positions.
- Managing a global supply chain. Humans won't be needed for the planning, implementing, and monitoring the logistics.
- Overseeing food safety. In seconds, blockchain can trace back sources of a food supply. That used to take more than a week.
- Supervising organizations, including government. The peer-to-peer "operating system" is in charge.
Major corporations such as IBM already are applying blockchain technology. For example, it is using it as lower-cost, faster, more secure way to transfer funds across borders. And it assisted in developing the food safety protocol.
Won't Be Much Work to Go Around
That's the initiative to provide a financial safety net, with no strings attached, to those who have lost their work to the robots.
When he delivered the commencement address at Harvard, Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg championed UBI.
Since his business is technology, he is aware of its impact on jobs. Eventually, there will have to be a global shift in how capitalist nations have positioned and packaged work. There could be little to go around.
Learn to Code
The gallows humor is that anyone who intends to keep working has essentially one option. That's to learn to code.
Some see no humor in that. They hammer that the ability to code is an essential kind of literacy in the digital age.
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