Will Algorithms Swallow the Financial Industry?
To a large extent this has already begun to happen in the large law firms. Instead of hiring dozen of first year law grads as they did before, many of these first are hiring fewer, and fewer first year associate. This has been driven by computer driven data collection, and discovery. This is one of the drivers of the current law student/graduate glut.
On the other end of the law spectrum are the Legal Zoom like businesses which are sucking up many people who would have needed a retail lawyer to handle simple transactions like wills, simple trusts, incorporation documents. The mid size firms have been left out of this but that is likely to end.
How far off can legal judicial algorithms be? How long before we see Small Claims, and low value cases adjudicated by algorithm?
Banking models are in jeopardy as well.
"The biggest force putting pressure on asset management is new technology. Electronic trading has made it easier to exchange assets in bulk and manage diversified portfolios such as exchange-traded funds. Cheaper diversification means more investors will diversify — a move aided by the general shift to passive investing. Instead of picking stocks, many asset managers will now just stick their clients’ money into a basket of ETFs and index funds, and let it stay there. […]
Fee compression will drive asset managers to become larger-volume, lower-margin businesses—a common result in many industries disrupted by technology and restricted by regulation. That implies a lot of wealth management firms bite the dust as the industry consolidates."
I am a bit surprised this has not already occurred. Some like me have our portfolios on autopilot, and generally do not need this, although it could offers benefits. Others still fear going all in on an algorithm.
The antiques, the progressives all want regulation since they do not understand the transformative power of competition. But what doe government regulation really offer?
"The competitive market is likely to shrink banks’ profit margins on its own. In some cases, financial regulations have the unintended effect of stymieing this process by raising barriers to entry to new firms."
Really, it offers only to slow the transformative change, mostly because the old way offers the players, and the politicians so much more in the way of graft, and corruption. It is not just The Bern, it is the Hillary as well, and likely The Donald, although to a lesser extent. None of the candidates today are transformative. They were all reductionist progressives, or even socialists desiring little more than a return to the 19th century money under the table, backroom deal, graft, and corruption model.
Hillary is the queen of this model, having scraped a quarter billion dollars out of the pockets of other, including foreign governments in the quest to sell influence, and access to power. The Bern would have been an incompetent boob compared to Hillary. And The Donald is an amateur at this, having little inside knowledge of the game, Hillary a master.