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.
©2015 John Kay (P)2015 Gildan Media LLC
"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)
Urban planner. Environmentalist. Geek.
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.
all useful information while it questions what the financial system does and provides in way of benefit to society I think it presents what the reader needs to know
Narration very mechanical sounding and hard to listen to. Wish had not bought, although I was really looking forward to it
Author goes deeper than the "usual suspects" to identify causes of, and to propose principled and workable solutions for, the economic illness that threatened the world.
We ignore the principles and systemic flaws he points out at our peril.
But this is not a casual read. Whether you are conservative, liberal, or libertarian you may experience challenges to your knee jerk explanations of what went wrong and what needs to be done to fix economic and political systems.
IBM Futurist, Influence Marketing, Speaker, Author and social networker
John Kay cuts through the rhetoric to explain what's really happening.
Reading Kay has changed my life.
This book isn't written for someone that isn't interested in finance. It will also make you think twice about your goals if you are like me and thought about taking your math and computer science skills into this sector... It has boring parts but overall its a good book!
"Financialization" has distorted public policy, the economy and public perception. The absence of any concept of duty to clients in the financial industry puts us all at risk, individually and collectively (as demonstrated by the events of 2008). This book explains well many of the issues, but it could have been better organized. I fault the editor more than the author. However, even with the less-than-stellar editing, the nuggets of gold are worth the read.
Loved it. Comprehensive analysis of our financial systems in an understandable treatise on what the world of finance is and what it should be. Kay recounts the history and development of western financial systems up to present day. He explains what's gone wrong, why the next financial crisis is inevitable, and what can be done to end the increasing magnitudes of failure and abuse. He is detailed, specific, and sweeping. Good read no matter what your level of financial literacy is. The perspective given by Kay in his explanation of the current situation and his guidance as to what can be done to remedy our broken financial sector, if taken seriously and implemented, will change the world for the better.
"Excellent book, excellent performance"
It's the exam period so I won't bother writing a full review.
Even if you're not interested in finance at all, buy this book! You owe it to society as a voter, and you owe it to yourself as a future retiree. The message is very clearly argued, and I daresay you will learn a lot, and enjoy the process, too. All I can say is that I certainly did.
"Great Book. Great content."
Fantastic book.Very informative. However, Walter Dixon is not the best narrator! His tone was boring.
Eye opening, wise, and inspiring of a better world. (No more words needed, even though Audible Review is set up to assume wordiness equates with quality.)
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