BBC World Service – The Forum: Does Finance Have to Be Invisible?

I was recently a guest on the BBC World Service programme The Forum, for an edition entitled Does Finance Have to Be Invisible?

It is an ancient question – one that has troubled people ever since money was invented.  How is it that finance, which has no physical existence itself, exerts such power over the production and exchange of real things?  How can it be that dealing in pieces of paper enriches people more than doing real work?  Is the invisibility of finance really just a means of concealing systematic deception?

Bridget Kendall leads a discussion of these and other questions with Professor Anat Admati of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, the artist and film-maker Zachary Formwalt, and me.

Anat Admati’s new book, co-authored with Martin Hellwig, The Emperor’s New Clothes, has just been published in the UK.  It is a major book for anyone interested in the ongoing global debate over banking reform.

Zachary Formwalt’s films In Place of Capital and The Royal Exchange (after Henry Talbot) are fascinating meditations on the nature and aesthetics of finance.  If you are lucky enough to get a chance to see them, do so.

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