Evidence of a disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street

Got this interesting article of marketwatch:

(emphasis mine)

DAVID WEIDNER'S WRITING ON THE WALL
Beyond write-downs
Commentary: The world's banking system shows some disturbing trends
By David Weidner, MarketWatch
Last update: 12:01 a.m. EDT Oct. 23, 2008
http://i.mktw.net/mw3/community/images/btns/icons/site/comments.pngComments: 31

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- The world's financial system is such a mess that no one is really quite sure where to begin fixing it.
It's as if all those runs on the banks withdrew banking knowledge along with deposits.
But the system's problems are far greater than the public or the people in the banks seem to realize. That's what some have concluded after looking over preliminary results of an ongoing banking study being conducted by IBM.
Normally, banking studies are usually throwaway surveys that are outdated the moment the data are released. But in this case, the people at Big Blue are going a little deeper. For one, they're doing 140 face-to-face interviews with middle- and top-level executives. They've also buttressed that data with a quantitative survey of 2,000 industry players, including educators, analysts and regulators.
The idea behind this global study is to find out how the financial pros think -- not just on a particular day, but over time. That's why the full study won't be finished until March 2009. However, the researchers were surprised by some of the early findings and wanted to pass them on. What they are unveiling is just a taste.
Much of what the IBM team, led by Suzanne Duncan, found can be summed up this way: Bankers and financial professionals are flabbergasted. That's my assessment, anyway. You be the judge. Here are some of the preliminary conclusions:

1) The No. 1 issue that keeps bankers and financial professionals awake at night is a lack of strategy - or, as Duncan put it, a "business model identity crisis" -- according to nearly 80% of board and C-level executives. "They don't know what they want to be when they grow up," Duncan said.
2) The other 20% are just worried about surviving.
3)
Financial executives are disturbingly out of touch with their clients. That could be institutions, "average Joes," as Duncan called them, or trading partners -- really anyone who pays money to a bank or financial firm.

IBM found that if you took a list of the top 12 things customers are willing to pay for, ranked them in order of value and then flipped the list over, you'd be pretty close to the list made by financial executives. In other words, bankers think we want one thing, and we want just the opposite.
It's that last point -- the idea that executives who are paid so much to know exactly what customers want and what to charge for it -- that is so disturbing. But it's also revealing why these big shots are so off base.

My reaction: What bothers me about Wall Street executive getting paid so much is that so many of them are idiots. The more I learn about the workings financials institutions the more I am disgusted. Take the synthetic CDOs I just read about today: they are an abominations and testament to financial stupidity. The banking idiots who engineered these synthetic CDOs had NO IDEA WHAT THE WERE DOING and were probably paid multi-millions for doing it.

I am not against high compensations for executives. Indeed, I hope to one day be one of those highly paid executives. However, I am deeply disgusted when clueless idiots get paid millions for work that ends up being harmful not only for their own company, but also for the economy as a whole.

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