What Went Wrong? The Financial Professionals

Big Think sat down with hedge fund managers Peter Thiel and Marc Lasry this week to talk about the role of financial professionals in the economic crisis. They both had interesting things to say about hedge funds, especially as they relate to leverage and regulation. Peter Thiel believes there is a misplaced focus on regulating hedge funds when the real problem lies with hidden leverage. Marc Lasry explains his belief that hedge funds should have no oversight.

Thiel also touches upon the situation in Dubai articulately, pointing out that it could be the start of a greater phenomenon where we stop giving money to the “bad guys.”

And while Lasry thinks we’re all to blame for the economy in peril, Thiel ventures to say, when asked why so many people failed to recognize an $8 trillion housing bubble, that Baby Boomers could be the dumbest generation yet.

Will we emerge from this downturn with more innovation than we had going into it? Thiel isn’t so sure. He believes that our focus on financial innovation is misguided, and that we should be directing our efforts toward technological innovation. The reason we’re not? “Policy makers are living in the dark ages.”

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