Financial innovation-illusory and real

In the 1990s, James Grant, that incisive and acerbic chronicler of the adventures and foibles of financial markets, wrote about the 1980s that science and engineering were progressive, but finance cyclical. He went on to say:

"In technology, therefore, banking has almost never looked back. On the other hand, this progress has paid scant dividends in judgment. Surrounded by computer terminals, bankers in the 1980s committed some of the greatest howlers in American financial history."

And what about the bankers and other financial actors of the twenty-first century? Surrounded by exponentially more computer power, supplied with reams of data, and informed by Nobel Prize–winning financial theories, they made even more egregious mistakes, creating, as we all know so well, an amazing bubble, an international panic, and a massively costly bust.

Read the full text of the article on The American.

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