Finance and Philosophy: Why We're Always Surprised

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Paul Dry Books, Incorporated, Oct 16, 2018 - Business & Economics - 183 pages
"Pollock tells us all we need to know about money and banking, risk and uncertainty, debt and temptation, and science and economics. He delights as he instructs."--James Grant, founder and editor,Grant's Interest Rate Observer

Finance and Philosophy provides a concise and witty account of how bankers and financial regulators think, of the alleged causes of the cycles of booms and busts, of the implicit and often un-thought-out assumptions shaping retirement finance, fiat money, corporate governance. Pollock deftly shows how poorly bankers have measured the risk their banks have been exposed to. With candor and clarity, he uncovers the persistent and unavoidable uncertainty inherent in the business of banking. We learn that a banker'sconfidence in his ability to measure banking risk accurately is the lure which has repeatedly led to bank failures. Pollock has a modest and compelling suggestion: Acknowledge the unavoidability of ignorance with respect to financial risk, and, in the light of this ignorance of the future, act moderately.

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About the author (2018)

Alex J. Pollock is a distinguished senior fellow at the R Street Institute in Washington, DC. Before joining R Street, he was a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute from 2004 to 2015, and President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago from 1991 to 2004. Mr. Pollock focuses on financial policy issues, including financial cycles, housing finance, banking systems, central banking, government-sponsored enterprises, uncertainty and risk, retirement finance, corporate governance, and financial crises with their ensuing political responses. He is the author of Boom and Bust: Financial Cycles and Human Prosperity, as well as numerous articles and Congressional testimony. Mr. Pollock is a director of CME Group; Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation; and the Great Books Foundation, where he was Chairman of the Board 2006-2014; and is a past-president of the International Union for Housing Finance. He is a graduate of Williams College, the University of Chicago, and Princeton University.

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