On December 2007, the New York Stock Exchange adopted Linux. In late August 2008, we saw one of the worse worldwide stock market crash of the last hundred years. This crisis was not predicted by mainstream economists and experts. It took them by surprise and it took weeks or months before an explanation could emerge. Even to this day, there is much debate about what really caused the crisis and what makes the recovery so difficult.
The financial industry is out-innovating regulators, experts and common investors. For years, the financial industry hired the best hackers it could find. They have a sizable share of the most creative and smart engineers on the planet. And Linux is one of their favorite tools. It is not difficult to understand: you can literally rewrite, or help rewrite, the Linux kernel. Today, Wall Street runs on Linux and it thrives thanks to its elite programmers.
Are you sad to see the best minds working in finance? Isaac Newton concluded his career as Director of the Mint, where he greatly improved the finances of England. Back then, the British currency was badly debased. Newton brought back confidence.
Maybe we need to recruit Linus Torvalds to fix the financial industry? The Wall Street hackers would listen to him and the bankers could not ignore the man who gave his name to their operating system. I am not kidding: we desperately need very clever people in the financial industry.
Credit: I was inspired by a side remark made by Ho-Sheng Hsiao.