Thursday, October 21, 2010

On Financial Innovation

Financial products have three basic elements. Money, the unpredictability of the future; and the predictability of human nature, expressed in many ways, but “to err is human” is what is on  my mind. Money is a token for value; however much we change its name, it simply stands for value. We’ve not discovered reliable ways of predicting the future, but we have developed statistically valid ways of predicting human failure. With such unpromising raw materials, wherein does innovation lie when applied to handing B some money, waiting for a while, and hoping that B will give it back—plus some? Or does the innovation lie in gulling A to hand over the money in the first place?

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