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Reforming the Risky Financial System

Other People's Money: The Real Business of Finance by John Kay; New York: Public Affairs, 2015; pp 352, $27.99 (hardcover).

John Kay has written a highly readable and often incisive book about the way in which the financial practices dominating much of the world have evolved into a highly dysfunctional system that generates ever greater instability, inequality and waste. As someone who has not only academic credentials but considerable practical experience in the financial sector, and who believes in the benefits of the free market in many contexts (for example, Kay’s The Truth About Markets, 2003), his trenchant critique of the contemporary financial world is all the more credible. He draws on historical, economic, legal and psychological perspectives to analyse modern finance, focusing especially on the experiences of the United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK); and he offers proposals for reform.

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