That money diverted some of the brightest minds from other pursuits. “We’re seeing significantly more of our students going into the financial sector,” says Vincent Poor, dean of Princeton’s engineering school. “Traditionally, engineering students had not followed that path.”

The WSJ goes as far as saying the coming shift may be comparable to what manufacturing workers went through in the 1980s, and quotes an analyst saying ten percent of the nation’s seven million finance jobs may go bye-bye.

Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at rc2538@columbia.edu.