Professor Murmann's Blog: Short History of Modern Finance

Short History of Modern Finance

In it’s appraisal about the current state of capitalism (Capitalism at Bay) the Economists gives a useful summary of want went wrong.
Without doubt, modern finance has been found seriously wanting. Some banks seemed to assume that markets would be constantly liquid. Risky behaviour garnered huge rewards; caution was punished. Even the best bankers took crazy risks. For instance, by the end of last year Goldman Sachs, by no means the most daring, had $1 trillion of assets teetering atop $43 billion of equity. Lack of regulation encouraged this gambling (see article). Financial innovation in derivatives soared ahead of the rule-setters. Somehow the world ended up with $62 trillion-worth of credit-default swaps (CDSs), none of them traded on exchanges. Not even the most liberal libertarian could imagine that was sensible.

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