To society gold mining is a useless profession.
The same is true for market traders.
What good is gold? It turns out gold is practically useless. A fraction is used in electronic circuits and an even smaller amount is used on the helmets of spacesuits or the surface of space telescopes. And it’s worn as a decoration, like beads of shell or glass ornaments for glamour and prestige. Other than that it’s pretty much useless.
Yet huge industries have been built, massive migrations of humans have traversed the lands and sailed the seas, all to converge on a location to shred the landscape, strip it of dignity, and tweeze out minute particles of Au. For what? Well, gold is money of course.
Only, it’s not. Gold has no real “value” to society. It’s only so called worth is that it’s rare, like gems, and as such coveted by humanity. You can’t eat or drink it, wear it (as clothing), use it to build structures or vehicles with, or make weapons or tools with. It’s, for all societal practical purposes — useless.
Yet still there are companies that dig for it. People who live for it. Television shows that exploit it. It’s a massive industry.
Hmm. Useless to society but huge investments of time and money and human effort put forth to pursue it. Kind of like market trading.
Market traders: day traders, high-frequency traders (and their algorithms), swing traders, proprietary trading shops, traders of every stripe, traders who don’t care a whit about the underlying trading vehicle, crude oil, or IBM, EURUSD, or VIX, or some derivative of any of these, these traders have no purpose.
Society does not need them. Just like society does not need gold miners. Both are useless professions.
Yet billions of dollars are spent to perfect the process and train the people. Billions of dollars that would be so much better spent for true societal needs. Worse still, thousands of the brightest minds and, like the gold miners — hardest working — people are lured into this emotionally empty and ultimately unfulfilling occupation.
Here’s a simple test to see if your job holds societal merit: if every trader or gold miner on the planet, today, chose to do some other society benefiting occupation, what would happen to the world? Would it stop? Would chaos ensue?
If every trader or gold miner quit today and did something else, something positive with their life, the world would instantly be a better place. Investors could still buy their stocks WITHOUT traders. Companies and farmers and produces could still trade commodities WITHOUT traders. Money would still exchange hands across borders through FX channels WITHOUT traders.
The system is setup to do all of this without the need for vampire like traders sucking drops of money like grains of gold from the machine that is the world market system.
Oh, but traders make it so much more efficient! No they don’t. That’s a rationalization for their existence which frankly just doesn’t work.
Just like gold miners have no real purpose in society, neither do market traders. They just don’t.