The rat pack and the sexiest job of the 21st century

Being at the midpoint of our stay in this great city I noticed that I’ve upped a notch the speed I walk at, I’ve trained my brain to easily add 20% to any bill, and even drink a few of the hot beverages they call coffee. Today the program enabled me to step into new, uncharted territories, first virtually, into the financial services and then literally, intoBrooklyn.

During the in-class session we had a presentation on the Recent trends in financial services by Mr. Bob Biolsi. He was able to give us a very interesting overview of the history of financial services in USA and in NYC in particular.

His view of the current situation is not that optimistic. He believes that due to the restrictions, reregulation of the FS in the US and the negative campaign of the US Government toward the financial services industry, NY will soon lose its leading position in the world. Eventhough over 1 mn people work in the FS (1/3 of thw total working force in NY), the financial centers will migrate from New York and London to Zurich, Dubai and Singapore. Dubai is the crossroad between the OPEC oil money and the money from India, and follows western rules of business. Singapore has the British legal system, has no corruption, everybody speaks English, has no taxes and no regulation of the FS market.

The other interesting topic we covered was the existence of financial bubbles that trigger crisis in the FS. Why do the bubbles persist? Is it an endless cycle? What is the next bubble? I learned that bubbles are created when all financial institutions start knocking at the same door for money. Based on the knowledge gained from all of the different bubbles from the past (Asian bubble, dot-com bubble, real estate bubble, credit derivatives bubble) and the mechanisms behind their creation, we discussed about the possible next possible bubble. Based on his life-long experience in the FS in NY, Mr. Biolsi believes that the next bubble may be the US Government bonds.

The second uncharted territory we entered was Brooklyn, the new school at NYU called Center for urban science and progress. Mr. JeanCarlo Bonilla spoke about the emerging new field of urban informatics and the profession of Data scientist: the sexiest job of the 21st century. He explained how big data in a big city can be a career path and a big opportunity. Through it’s three stages of acquisition, integration and analysis of data, data scientists can visualize and give answers to many puzzling questions of the modern megalopolis.

With all of this food for thought your brain will never be starving for ideas.


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