"Some say that Silicon Valley is the new Wall Street, but could there be deeper reasons why tech companies like Facebook compete with banks like Goldman Sachs for engineers?
It used to be banks that attracted the brightest.
Before the financial crisis of 2008, Wall Street loved to hire mathematicians, physicists, and even rocket scientists to create innovative – and often very complex – financial products. They would design new derivatives and investment strategies and run quantitative risk models to project how these instruments would perform into the future. This so-called ‘financial engineering’, — a near-scientific work — is something that we now like to blame as one of the reasons for the great financial crisis in 2007–2008.
The engineers wouldn’t go to banks just for the money. It was interesting work, too. But, this ended in the years after 2008, when the aftermaths of the global financial crisis hit banks hard. They had to bow to regulators, and journalists would love to point out that the best and brightest now go to Silicon Valley startups, not banks."