Other People's Money

  • by John Kay
  • Narrated by Walter Dixon
  • 11 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


What the Critics Say

"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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Listened twice. Everyone must read this.

I never felt like I understood what's actually happening in the finance markets until I read this book.

Kay has a wonderfully grounded approach which asks, what is the good work the financial sector supposed to perform? And, is it performing it?

The answer is largely, scandalously, that most of what the financial sector does offers no service while causing enormous risks for the economy at large.

It was counterintuitive to hear that more regulations don't help. Instead, we need basic, fundamental structural changes in how the finance system works, rather than attempts to monitor every aspect of what bankers do. Laws and regulators can never keep up with the banks, and further complexity only creates greater distortions.

The book includes a whole chapter on clear, specific reforms. Everyone must read this book. That way, we could get the reforms we need.
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- Tristan

Must read to understand the next crisis

this book details why politicians will not see the next banking disaster we will suffer
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- Bradley V

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-15-2015
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC