The blog started with a project management focus. By the end of 2007 and the next year, it seemed that finance had really gone down the drain. Why? Too much gaming and misuse of mathematics (all because of an environment that relaxed oversight and that allowed young ones to play games without constraint as long as it filled the pockets of those who were funding the game -- at the same time, the real engineers had followed their improvements with an increasing amount of power at a reduced cost).
We had people thinking that trashy stuff, like the tranche, was high-powered finance. Wishful thinking, in some cases. Definitely, unrealistic in scope (there is no perpetual motion machine (something from nothing -- Ben, Ben, you can't just keep printing money -- oh, you're developing an economy to be like a game board -- funny money), yet there are many ways for people to gather more than they deserve).
Then, there was this role that had been created in which a wizard had a couple of buttons to control the economy via monetary schemes. Back in 2007, we had not realized how far he could take it in applying changes, and schemes, without any real data with which to know the impacts.
So far, does he look like gold? We don't have the final accounting; in other words, it's too early.
We jawboned a lot about moral hazards. It seemed that the FED was rewarding this a lot in its prancing upon the world's stage. Is that not still the case? Later, it was obvious that Ben liked to dance around strewing his fairy dust.
Too, the FED made happy talk.
The whole structure was shaky due to an overabundance of leverage. This was one consequence of the bastardized mathematics mentioned earlier. In fact, much of the machinations of financial engineering would not have been possible without the advances in computational modeling (this I know about deeply).
So, it's been four years of major oops, with all sorts of people suffering. Of course, the system risk is still there and understated. We can look back and try to see what happened. That will happen in the academic environment.
In the meantime, people are trying to move forward. As the OWS shows, we cannot sustain ourselves using the methods that led to the failure. What would help improve things? Do we not need to reconsider the deleterious effects of colonization and exploitation, for one thing?