Tuesday 3 September 2013

A balanced view of financial innovation

I was browsing around Slate magazine, as you do, and in one of those 'From Around The Web' sidebars I came across this - Economist Robert J. Shiller: Greed Isn’t Good, But Capitalism Still Is.

It's a price published in Credit Suisse's online magazine, The Financialist, which the bank describes as offering "An informed but inventive, offbeat take on things—never the conventional wisdom".
The piece certainly achieves that.

The conventional wisdom is that financial innovation in recent years has been the death of us, through not only bringing us the GFC but also contributing to various other issues, including widening income inequality.

What Shiller points out - and he holds more moral authority than pretty much anyone when it comes to overexuberant financial markets, having been correctly sceptical about both the dot.com bubble and US house prices - is that financial innovation has had social benefits, too.

Have a look for yourself. It's a good deal more balanced than a lot of recent academic comment on banking and the financial markets.

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