The New Financial Order

Robert J. Shiller

Relative to Irrational Exuberance, which received much acclaim, The New Financial Order was not given the same sort of thumbs up. I'm a bit biased having seen him speak and thinking that many of his ways of looking at the world are quite unique.A huge fan of Shiller, I was taken aback to find that the reviews of the book were very mixed.Of course i had to read it and have my own say.

Shiller's book which proposes a "New Financial Order" does in fact provide his preliminary thoughts on how that should look.He discusses several newer financial instruments with which he has significant involvement, including his housing indices, the user of swaps as climate hedging instruments, and the IMF's attempts to get developing countries to work harder to implement the use of such derivative instruments.

Where I think the book looses its steam is in the writing.Shiller's first book was really artful in its ability to coherently and orderly express irrational exuberance.In this regard, it was a single phenomenon that was introduced and explicated using examples throughout history.

This particular book attempts to show a future of risk management that is much broader in scope.As a result, the examples are from a multitude of places to the point of seeming almost random and off point.At once he is discussing derivative, swaps, and futures in the context of climate of multinationals and unemployment.At the same time he is showing historically what has existed in those nations.The transitions are just not smooth.

The meat of what he is saying was fantastic.It truly is the case that risk is evolving and the world is innovating to a place where the sheer number of identifiable risks that exist have increased dramatically.It definitively is the case that data allows us to measure and identify these risks in ways that never before were available.And Shiller absolutely points out an important change in the advent of financial instruments that have been created to meet these demands.He even begins to show methods in which capitalism to create markets which would improve income distribution.

However, he does it in a manner that is not nearly as organized as his first book.I think this may be why the critiques of the book miss both his major points and why this book is actually unique for this time.I have to doc it points for style and suggest those that are avid fans to keep his main points in mind and dig through the pages to find the gems that Shiller is attempting to articulate.

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