Simon English: Could this be how the boffins took over?

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The Independent Online

Outlook The best bit in the book is an explanation of how all of these loony physicists ended up in finance in the first place.

In 1993, the US Congress scraps a giant superconductor project, putting some of the most brilliant and least socially adept people on the planet out of work. This saves $10bn.

Those PhDs then went off to be quant analysts on Wall Street, "where they helped build derivatives rather than particle accelerators. And when that went wrong and the banking system imploded, Congress had to rescue it, at a cost to the US taxpayer or $3.7 trillion".

It's fiction, obviously.