Two pieces on the crisis everyone should read. Of note, Simon Johnson in the Atlantic article talks about breaking the elite, and points to the view of Goldman Sachs as a training ground for public officials, especially in the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve System. But a deeper trace of where this elite originates from would lead Prof. Johnson no further than down the street from MIT.
It angers/saddens/confuses me when I still see posts on email lists at Harvard touting careers in finance. For my first 3 years here, "I-banking" was the field to go into, trumping any other high-minded goals one may have had pre-college. Much ink/bits have been spilled on the debate over the "right" career course for a Harvard graduate might be, and I'll give the Crimson a lot of credit for that (even if I'm too lazy to link to anything right now). I hope a more substantive and definitive answer to that debate will come out of this crisis. I hope my peers will realize they have a moral duty to look beyond their future big bonuses and payouts, and instead of becoming the fresh recruits of a moribund oligarchy, become dedicated to using their intelligence to transforming the way Wall Street does business.