The entries were submitted, the books were read, the decisions have been made. And, in the Finance & Economics category, Robert Shiller’s Finance and the Good Society from Princeton University Press takes the top spot.
“At its broadest level, finance is the science of goal architecture—of the structuring of the economic arrangements necessary to achieve a set of goals and of the stewardship of assets needed for that achievement. The goals may be those of households, small businesses, corporations,
civic institutions, governments, and of society itself.”
Finance and the Good Society, page 6
Financial Capitalism has a rather well deserved black eye coming out of a crisis largely of its creation. Robert J. Shiller makes no apologies for the financial industry or those in it, but takes a longer view and shows how financial innovation has advanced human goals and agency throughout history and can still be a force of good in society. He very adeptly and academically lays out the roles and responsibilities of the individuals within finance, and the role of finance within the larger society. Shiller demonstrates along the way that instead of demonizing finance, we could be doing our best to democratize it—that finding the solution to our problems and building a better future for all of us requires not a more profound anger, but a deeper understanding of finance and its role in our society. And most importantly, he provides us with one.
To see the runners-up, check out our Finance & Economcs shortlist announced last week.