Don't tell Thomas Friedman, but here's a little footnote from history.
Though [Isaac Newton] never managed to turn base metal into gold in an experiment, later in life he became Warden of the Mint - the man in charge of making the country’s money. Here, he oversaw the production of gold and silver coins, and ensured that they were made more exactly than they had ever been made before. He also went after counterfeiters, several of whom were hanged.That's the best and the brightest for you. Always trying to make a mint in banking.