A Call for Judgment: Sensible Finance for a Dynamic Economy
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Amar Bhide: Tufts University. Professor of Business
in OUP Catalogue from Oxford University Press
Our prosperity requires the enterprise of innumerable individuals and businesses who exercise their imagination and judgment-and bear responsibility for outcomes. And it is through dialogue and relationships that widespread enterprise is fostered, 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 thousands of 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. Bhide 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. Financing the Venturesome Economy is essential reading for anyone interested 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.
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