University of Cambridge > > Finance and Accounting Subject Group >  A seminar with Professor Robert Shiller, Yale University, as he argues that Finance Can Be a Force for Good in These Tough Economic Times

A seminar with Professor Robert Shiller, Yale University, as he argues that Finance Can Be a Force for Good in These Tough Economic Times

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Miss Camilla Burgess.

The lecture will be followed by a bookstall, held by Heffers Bookshop, giving you the opportunity to purchase books by Robert Shiller.

“Sub-prime mortgages. Obscene Wall Street bonuses. Shrinking portfolios. Unemployment. Bankrupt companies. These words continue to taint the financial industry years after the great market crash of 2008. The public’s opinion of the financial sector is at an all-time low while many investors and citizens scream for government regulation. Calls for gaol time for those responsible for the crisis continue while angry protestors crowd city parks as part of the Occupy movement. Anti-finance sentiments are omnipresent with many blaming financial innovations for the bleak economic outlook but is the “problem” actually the “solution”? Can society’s ills be cured with financial innovation? Can finance reinvent itself as a force that creates growth and prosperity for all?

In Robert Shiller’s provocative new book FINANCE AND THE GOOD SOCIETY shows that finance can be a powerful agent of positive change. Instead of banishing finance from the foundations of our societies, we should harness its capabilities through financial innovation and reinvention. Shiller—no apologist for the sins of finance—argues that, rather than condemning finance, we need to reclaim it for the common good. He makes a convincing case for recognizing that finance, far from being a parasite on society, is one of the most powerful tools we have for solving our common problems and increasing the general well-being.

Challenging the public and its leaders to rethink finance and its role in society, FINANCE AND THE GOOD SOCIETY contends that finance should be defined not merely as the manipulation of money or the management of risk, but also as the stewardship of society’s assets. Shiller explains how people in financial careers—from CEOs, investment managers, and bankers to insurers, lawyers, and regulators—can manage, protect, and increase these assets. He describes how finance has historically contributed to the good of society through inventions such as insurance, mortgages, savings accounts, and pensions, and suggests that we need to envisage new ways to re-channel financial creativity to benefit society as a whole.

This talk is part of the Finance and Accounting Subject Group series.

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