A Call for Judgment Sensible Finance for a Dynamic Economy

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-10-07
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Our prosperity requires the enterprise of innumerable individuals and businesses who exercise their imagination and judgment--and bear responsibility for outcomes. Widespread enterprise is fostered through dialogue and relationships, not merely prices in anonymous markets. Yet modern finance blatantly neglects these necessary elements for enterprise, and the dynamism of the real economy is stifled. For the last several decades finance has become increasingly centralized, distanced, and mechanistic. Instead of many lending officers making judgments about borrowers who they know, credit decisions are the output of the models of a few Wall Street wizards and credit agencies whose mistakes have widespread, sometimes disastrous consequences. A Call for Judgment explains in a clear way how bad theories and mis-regulation have caused this dangerous divergence between the real economy and finance. Bhidé accessibly lays out how so-called advances in modern finance helped mass-produce toxic products, based on backward-looking, top-down models that have no place in today's dynamic and decentralized world. Thanks to excessively tight securities laws and loose banking laws, anonymous transactions have displaced relationship-based finance. Returning to relationships and case-by-case judgment requires at a minimum tough rules that limit banks--and all deposit taking institutions--to basic lending and nothing else. A Call for Judgment is essential reading for anyone interested in bringing the economy back to a point at which decisions can be made that foster organic economic growth without the potentially disastrous risks currently accepted by modern finance.

Author Biography

Amar Bhid+¬, Visiting Scholar at Harvard's Kennedy School, was previously the Laurence D. Glaubinger Professor of Business at Columbia University and was a former Senior Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company and proprietary trader at E.F. Hutton. He is the author of The Venturesome Economy: How Innovation Sustains Prosperity in a More Connected World, The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses, and Of Politics and Economic Reality. Bhid+¬ has written about the financial crisis in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Forbes.

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