Finance and the Good Society

ISBN-10: 0691154880
ISBN-13: 9780691154886
Edition: 2012
List price: $16.95 Buy it from $3.00
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Description: The reputation of the financial industry could hardly be worse than it is today in the painful aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.New York Timesbest-selling economist Robert Shiller is no apologist for the sins of finance--he is probably the  More...

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Book details

List price: $16.95
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 3/20/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 304
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

The reputation of the financial industry could hardly be worse than it is today in the painful aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.New York Timesbest-selling economist Robert Shiller is no apologist for the sins of finance--he is probably the only person to have predicted both the stock market bubble of 2000 and the real estate bubble that led up to the subprime mortgage meltdown. But in this important and timely book, Shiller argues that, rather than condemning finance, we need to reclaim it for the common good. He makes a powerful case for recognizing that finance, far from being a parasite on society, is one of the most powerful tools we have for solving our common problems and increasing the general well-being. We need more financial innovation--not less--and finance should play a larger role in helping society achieve its goals.Challenging the public and its leaders to rethink finance and its role in society, Shiller argues that finance should be defined not merely as the manipulation of money or the management of risk but as the stewardship of society's assets. He explains how people in financial careers--from CEO, investment manager, and banker to insurer, lawyer, and regulator--can and do manage, protect, and increase these assets. He describes how finance has historically contributed to the good of society through inventions such as insurance, mortgages, savings accounts, and pensions, and argues that we need to envision new ways to rechannel financial creativity to benefit society as a whole.Ultimately, Shiller shows how society can once again harness the power of finance for the greater good.

Robert J. Shiller is the Stanley B. Resor Professor of Economics at Yale University. Also the author of the award-winning "Macro Markets" as well as "Market Volatility", he lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

Preface
Introduction: Finance, Stewardship, and Our Goals
Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Officers
Investment Managers
Bankers
Investment Bankers
Mortgage Lenders and Securitizers
Traders and Market Makers
Insurers
Market Designers and Financial Engineers
Derivatives Providers
Lawyers and Financial Advisers
Lobbyists
Regulators
Accountants and Auditors
Educators
Public Goods Financiers
Policy Makers in Charge of Stabilizing the Economy
Trustees and Nonprofit Managers
Philanthropists
Finance and Its Discontents
Finance, Mathematics, and Beauty
Categorizing People: Financiers versus Artists and Other Idealists
An Impulse for Risk Taking
An Impulse for Conventionality and Familiarity
Debt and Leverage
Some Unfortunate Incentives to Sleaziness Inherent in Finance
The Significance of Financial Speculation
Speculative Bubbles and Their Costs to Society
Inequality and Injustice
Problems with Philanthropy
The Dispersal of Ownership of Capital
The Great Illusion, Then and Now
Epilogue: Finance, Power, and Human Values
Notes
References
Index

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