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Opinion
Barry Ritholtz

The Parasites of Finance

I am always amazed at how some business models manage to hang on despite overwhelming proof of their lack of purpose or value added.
Perfect conditions for a financial-industry leech. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg
Perfect conditions for a financial-industry leech. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg

Over the past few decades, I have watched the financial industry change. Some parts have evolved quite slowly, while others shift rapidly. But I am always amazed at how some business models manage to hang on despite overwhelming proof of their lack of purpose or value added.

Some parts of the investment world exist simply because people don't know better. The information is out there, but it is obscured by a relentless parade of advertising, promotion and marketing. The truth gets lost behind a smokescreen of noise and deception. Indeed, there are increasing numbers of people who are employed for just that purpose.