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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
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.
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