The finance sector of Western economies is too large and attracts too many of the smartest college graduates. Financialization over the past three decades has created a structure that lacks resilience and supports absurd volumes of trading. The finance sector devotes too little attention to the search for new investment opportunities and the stewardship of existing ones and far too much to secondary-market dealing in existing assets. Regulation has contributed more to the problems than the solutions. Why? What is finance for?
John Kay, with wide practical and academic experience in the world of finance, understands the operation of the financial sector better than most. He believes in good banks and effective asset managers, but good banks and effective asset managers are not what he sees.
In a dazzling and revelatory tour of the financial world as it has emerged from the wreckage of the 2008 crisis, Kay does not flinch in his criticism: We do need some of the things that Citigroup and Goldman Sachs do, but we do not need Citigroup and Goldman to do them. And many of the things done by Citigroup and Goldman do not need to be done at all.
The finance sector needs to be reminded of its primary purpose: to manage other people's money for the benefit of businesses and households. It is an aberration when some of the finest mathematical and scientific minds are tasked with devising algorithms for the sole purpose of exploiting the weakness of other algorithms for computerized trading in securities. To travel further down that road leads to ruin.
"Kay is an admirable debunker of myths and false beliefs - he can see substantial things that others don’t." (Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of The Black Swan)
"Kay is both a first-class economist and an excellent writer." (Financial Times)
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Worst narrator ever.....
I would definitely read another book from John Kay, so long as Walter Dixon was not narrating it... I had heard good things about the book so I never thought to sample the audio book. The book was great; but please go buy the hard cover and save your money/credits for something else.
It was not Walter Dixon's narration of it?
Walter Dixon sounds like a robot.... (I'm sorry, that's probably insulting to robots.)
Yes, but it was very hard to listen to Mr. Dixon for long periods without falling asleep.
Walter Dixon is terrible; if you didn't already get that from my previous comments.
- Joe in NJ
Listened twice. Everyone must read this.
- Tristan "Urban planner. Environmentalist. Geek."