The wisdom of finance : discovering humanity in the world of risk and return (Book, 2017) [WorldCat.org]
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The wisdom of finance : discovering humanity in the world of risk and return

Author: Mihir A Desai
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The Harvard Business School professor draws upon literature, film, philosophy, and history to argue that, at the core of finance and financial practices, there is a place for principles, ethics, and humanity.
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Genre/Form: Nonfiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Mihir A Desai
ISBN: 9780544911130 054491113X 9781788160049 1788160045
OCLC Number: 987297489
Description: xiii, 223 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Contents: Introduction: Finance and the good life --
The wheel of fortune --
Risky business --
On value --
Becoming a producer --
No romance without finance --
Living the dream --
Failing forward --
Why everyone hates finance.
Responsibility: Mihir A. Desai.

Abstract:

The Harvard Business School professor draws upon literature, film, philosophy, and history to argue that, at the core of finance and financial practices, there is a place for principles, ethics, and humanity.

In 1688, essayist Joseph de la Vega described finance as both "the fairest and most deceitful business ... the noblest and most infamous in the world, the finest and most vulgar on earth." The characterization of finance as deceitful, infamous, and vulgar still rings true today - particularly in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. But what happened to the fairest, noblest, and finest profession that de la Vega saw? De la Vega hit on an essential truth that has been forgotten: finance can be just as principled, life-affirming, and worthy as it can be fraught with questionable practices. Today, finance is shrouded in mystery for outsiders, while many insiders are uneasy with the disrepute of their profession. How can finance become more accessible and also recover its nobility? Harvard Business School professor Mihir Desai, in his "last lecture" to the graduating Harvard MBA class of 2015, took up the cause of restoring humanity to finance. With incisive wit and irony, his lecture drew upon a rich knowledge of literature, film, history, and philosophy to explain the inner workings of finance in a manner that has never been seen before. This book captures Desai's lucid exploration of the ideas of finance as seen through the unusual prism of the humanities. Thorugh this novel, creative approach, Desai shows that outsiders can access the underlying ideas easily and insiders can reacquaint themselves with the core humanity of their profession. The mix of finance and the humanities creates unusual pairings: Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope are guides to risk management; Jeff Koons becomes an advocate of leverage; and Mel Brook's The Producers teaches us about fiduciary responsibility. In Desai's vision, the principles of finance also provide answers to critical questions in our lives. Among many surprising parallels, bankruptcy teaches us how to react to failure, the lessons of mergers apply to marriages, and the capital asset pricing model demonstrates the true value of relationships. The Wisdom of Finance is a wholly unique book that offers a refreshing new perspective on one of the world's most complex and misunderstood professions. -- from dust jacket.

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