Finance and the Good Society

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 Times best 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 mortgThe reputation of the financial industry could hardly be worse than it is today in the painful aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis New York Times best 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 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.
Finance and the Good Society The reputation of the financial industry could hardly be worse than it is today in the painful aftermath of the financial crisis New York Times best selling economist Robert Shiller is no apologi

  • Title: Finance and the Good Society
  • Author: Robert J. Shiller
  • ISBN: 9780691154886
  • Page: 479
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Finance and the Good Society”

    1. I think this book succeeds in about half its aims.First the failures: It is incredibly naive. When describing government, or lobbyist action it basically ignores the findings of public choice theory. It treats them as publicly minded angels. It also is an utmost defense of the status quo. The book's premise is that the current political/economic arrangement of the world is basically functional and good. We just need to tweak it here and there with minor neoliberal or progressive reforms (the ran [...]

    2. Robert Shiller is a genius and I love his thesis that finance is basically goal engineering. However, this book was simply a collection of book-report type essays that lacked cohesion and vision. Save yourself time a read his graduation speech to Yake finance grads instead.

    3. Shiller masterfully illustrates the connection of finance to the good society. I must admit that I'm particularly drawn to his more optimistic outlook on finance and financial reform. I also believe that much of modern finance is enormously beneficial for humanity -- just as I believe that the excesses and the weaknesses need to be addressed. We cannot address contemporary problems with antiquated concepts. Shiller points out something that is completely missing from financial reform discussions [...]

    4. Market-based economies, aided by innovative financial tools, have provided opportunities for widespread, if not total, employment, scientific and technological advances, a better quality of life, and, in the best of circumstances, a chance to more people to become educated and prosper. History teaches that these markets are subject to dysfunctions and that regulation and oversight may be needed to ensure appropriate functioning.Before 1853, runners from each of the New York City banks, throughou [...]

    5. This book is extremely comprehensive in its subject matter and delves into so many aspects of finance. However, I had problems with looking at environmental disasters, such as oil spills, as no big deal, because people were insured.

    6. A lo largo del libro redacta cómo funciona el sector financiero en la sociedad, obligaciones de los miembros con la sociedad y explica cómo las finanzas ayudan al progreso e igualdad económica; tomando en cuenta que los miembros de la comunidad financiera también pueden ser artistas, escritores y filósofos.Al inicio del libro, se define la función de las finanzas, se establece una perspectiva capitalista y de industria. El sistema financiero tiene muchas ramas y puedan mejorar las activida [...]

    7. Robert Schiller is a academic economist/finance theorist who teaches at Yale. He won this year's Nobel Prize, and is one of main critics of the strong versions of the "efficient markets" hypothesis (this is what led me to pick up the book). This book is meant to introduce "finance" to a popular audience. So, there are no equations, and relatively few extended arguments against rival views. Here are my thoughts:1. I found the early parts of the book (around the first half) to be mediocre at best. [...]

    8. By Edward HadasFinancial repression is the theme of the moment, and that’s a slap in the face for Robert J. Shiller, who thinks investors should be protected, not exploited. The possible UK government 100-year fixed coupon bond, which would be issued at an artificially low rate, is almost the antithesis of everything Shiller believes in.Shiller the stock market commentator is much loved. But Shiller as advocate of financial justice? That’s another matter. Unfortunately, his latest book is un [...]

    9. An excellent and must-read book for finance professionals, especially ones like me who strayed from other career tracks that are deemed more utilitarian (engineer in this case). This book validates that Finance is as useful a profession as any other in a complex, advanced society. If markets and professionals do their job, risk is identified, priced and either mitigated or diversified. This facilitates many enterprises, transactions and trades that otherwise would not have happened. Finance also [...]

    10. Shiller states that "finance is the science of goal architecture", a refreshingly positive - and I believe accurate - view of finance. He freely admits to the capitalist system's failures and its role in the recent global recession, but views these not as an indictment on the system itself, but on misguided incentives, policies, and human weaknesses. For the world to thrive, he believes that financial innovation should be released, and not restricted. However improvements to the current system a [...]

    11. At a time when the world is reeling under the spell of the worst ever economic crisis since the Great Depression of 1929, the financial domain has come in for some scathing and loathsome attack (much of it deserved) for the blatant ills promulgated and propagated by its practitioners in a shameless manner. Robert Schiller, one of the most respected and prescient economists plying his wares today, offers, in this book a set of measures and means by which Finance can be restored to a pedestal of r [...]

    12. This book has cred because the author has previously documented his prediction of the 2000 bubble and the more recent real estate bubble. He shares several old and new ideas that probably make too much sense, and are too non-traditional to be accepted by financiers and governments. It's interesting to consider using "units" as Chile does instead of currency to establish mortgages, rents and certain other core goods; he explains how this could smooth out volatility in some markets. I think he gi [...]

    13. This is a 239 (288 if you count the footnotes at the end) nonfiction book about finance and why it is important to society. The first half of the book describes the "industry" (I put that in quotes because finance is more of an institution than an industry) through the various roles (banker, educator, CEO) in finance. The second half of the book gives arguments for and against finance and their implications. This was a bit tough to read at some points because it was very dense sometimes, but it [...]

    14. Shiller is able to write about complex topics in a fluid and accessible manner, and the book is organized in a way that complements that style. For that, I'll give it a 2. However, I found the book very grating because of its rather Panglossian view of financial capitalism. Finance, Shiller argues, is, has been, and can be a force for good in the world (as long as a few tweaks are made) and should be expanded into new realms. He attributes good faith far too often where there is none, underplays [...]

    15. Robert J. Shiller writes "Finance and the Good Society" in a time of social unrest in the sector. Shiller divides his book in two sections. The first section depicts the role of each major sector in finance and how, in his eyes, these roles should strive for the good society. The author in this section gives an introduction to how financial economics is still in the process of refinement. He urges the reader to think of the possibilities this system could have on society, leaning on that areas o [...]

    16. I think while Shiller, the original exponent of 'irrational exuberance,' has perhaps moderated his conviction in the efficient markets hypothesis, this book offers a pre-emptive defense of the benefits of financial innovation in an era where public sentiment may encourage policymakers to constrain such activities. And he's right. Although Shiller's concept of the "good society" is unexplored and as such necessarily narrow, technology that has allowed mitigation of risk and efficient allocation o [...]

    17. A convincing defense of the role of finance in modern society.cally, it's like democracy in that it's not perfect but consider the alternatives. Shiller talks about the potential for new financial instruments that could improve people's lives (for example, occupation insurance, where you get paid out if the skill you chose to learn is suddenly not in demand). I came away from this book far less skeptical of finance and far more interested in how it will develop. The biggest takeaway is how young [...]

    18. Shiller is a fine economist and a good writer. He is also humane and comes across as caring deeply about his fellow man. He understands the complexity of motivations and this is useful in diagnosing shoot-from-the-hip attacks on the financial sector.At times he offers financial engineering proposals, and tax incentive proposals, to fix problems or address issues like inequality that seem breathtakingly over-optimistic. I found myself wondering how these could possibly work in the complex, chaoti [...]

    19. The theme is defending the financial system and its participants against leftwing critics in the aftermath of the financial crisis.He reviews the roles of different actors, i.e. insurers and philantropists to which he respectively mentions the lack of insurances on house prices and Andrew Carnegie who argued for philanthropic behaviour.A few of the sections are supplemented by historical development (stocks in ancient Rome, South Sea Company, etc.). Large parts are devoted to psychology such as [...]

    20. Am still following his lectures at Yale open university, online. This particular give me a new level of broaden understanding on high level of how finance, as it should, behave and contribute to society, as human, we are live today. How he translate the capitalism and communism as it evolve, indirectly, to our now corporation and human dictating how worlds should behave. I'm guessing this is where he is more keen towards behavior finance, it is interesting in how its apply throughout human commu [...]

    21. I expected more from Robert Shiller and instead finished a milquetoast survey of the financial industry. Why must academics in lofty positions who competed vigorously for their positions feel the need to belittle their reading audience with didactic drivel? I know what a CDO is, I know what a portfolio manager is, I know Daniel Kahneman's work, I know about agency problems. You repeat what others have written and others will keep repeating what you have written. You are Robert Shiller. Inspire m [...]

    22. Shiller gives a good overview of roles and actors in the finance sector. He tries to balance the critic on the banking and finance sector for their role in the current financial crisis. I find him too much defensive on critisizing the banking and finance sector. From his point of view the whole finance system failed because of the weak and egoistic human nature. In his last chapters Shiller missed to validate his thesis by facts and reliable data and rather emphasized his arguments by giving a c [...]

    23. Needless to say, Robert Shiller is a leader in finance and economics. This book clearly illustrates why. Shiller is thorough, elegant, knowledgeable, thoughtful, observent and grounded in his descriptions of modern finance, economics, society, economic history, domestic and international politics, war, happiness, etc. etc. A fantastic read for everyone, weather you are interested in finance or you find it the scourge of humanity. Easily a must read for economics, finance, and business students.

    24. Wat actoren in de financiële sector doen en zouden moeten doen. Het boek begint aarzelend en komt uiteindelijk goed op gang wanneer psychologische inzichten hun plek vinden en duidelijk wordt in welke opzichten actoren zich zouden kunnen verbeteren (na het al te zoetsappige verhaal over wat de actoren allemaal voor goeds doen) en waarom we meer aandacht moeten ehbben voor de maatschappelijke baten van financiële innovatie (inclusief een rijkheid aan ongeprobeerde voorbeelden).

    25. There are gems of ideas in this book, especially the concept of finance as the science of goal architecture, and the idealistic notion of financial capitalism as a means of promoting a good society. It is meant to provoke thought and not provide the answers to the pervasive questions of our times. Tickles the senses.

    26. This is a must read for those few open minded lefties who are unable to see the moral neutrality of decentralised pockets of wealth and independent self-financed ventures. It shows us that it is not only more sustainable to have a certain level of private capital but also that the morality comes with what you do with that capital.

    27. The writer is attempting to "innovate" market based solutions for this and that and seems totally unaware that the problems he is trying to tackle are dealt with successfully by social security and social policy in many countries. But that ignorance could be excusable. What isn't is the way he dismisses Madoff fraud and Arthur Andersen/Enron and the shortcomings and responsibility of regulators.

    28. Fails, fundamentally, to make the case that Finance is anything more than a set of hopeful tools brought down by greedy people. Not sure that it lives up to the goal of imagining a good society as it roundly fails to address the problems that have made the Finance industry such a tool of extraction from society over the last few decades.

    29. This is an excellent book for anyone interested in the financial sector and how it affects society. I highly recommend it.Additionally, it does not need to be read cover-to-cover. A reader can easily jump around to chapters which grab their interest.

    30. Pretty incredible and different view of finance. Puts good thoughts to why very efficient markets is not probably a reality. Also paints a picture of why capitalism and finance should be continued positives for society worldwide -- while admitting the issues it has/creates in its current form.

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