Saturday, September 20, 2014

Finance in the 21st Century

Davies and Shiller

Is the dollar doomed? Can increased regulation and financial innovation co-exist? What makes housing markets suddenly turn "hot" or "cold"? Why should long-term bond prices shoot up and down in a single year? Can financial globalization be effectively regulated without stifling growth?

In the go-go decades of international finance that just ended, one man presciently warned of the dangers of "irrational exuberance": Yale Professor Robert Shiller. In the years before America’s sub-prime mortgage market collapsed, triggering a global financial crisis, one man was calling for deep structural revision of how financial markets around the world are regulated: the founding Chairman of the Financial Services Authority, Britain's financial regulator, and a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, Howard Davies. Both got it right before anyone else, but almost everyone – from central bankers to ordinary investors – failed to listen.

Robert Shiller, the most far-seeing political economist of our time, is no prophet of doom. He envisions a new financial order in which information technology and financial theory unlock the latent value of our ordinary riches and convert them into sources of growth. Howard Davies, currently Rector of the London School of Economics and an adviser to the China Banking Regulatory Commission and the China Securities Regulatory Commission, grasps like no one else the intricacies of financial regulation, and its implications for growth.

In their commentaries on risk, finance, and human behavior, written exclusively for Project Syndicate, Robert Shiller and Howard Davies alternate each month to provide powerful, complementary insights into the finance of today and tomorrow. Those few who listened to them before today’s crisis are incomparably better off. What Shiller and Davies say now is equally important for those who want to avoid the future pitfalls of Finance in the 21st Century.

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