Tuesday, August 2, 2016

#215 / Finance And Civilization

William N. Goetzmann, who is a professor at the Yale School Of Management, says that Money Changes Everything. That's the title of Goetzmann's recent book, which was reviewed by Felix Martin in the June 26, 2016 New York Times Book Review. Martin has also written a book on money: Money: The Unauthorized Biography.

The subtitle of the Goetzmann book is "How Finance Made Civilization Possible." I don't really quarrel with the point being made. However, to the degree that Goetzmann might want to imply that those engaged in the "finance" sector of our society should get deference from the rest of us (we call that sector "Wall Street," usually), I am resisting that notion. 

Felix Martin seems to be resisting that notion, too. He says: 

"Money Changes Everything" - I agree, but politics changes even money itself."

"Politics," in other words, which is where ordinary people have an opportunity to decide what happens, is properly placed in control of "money."

Not the other way around!

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