Financiers don’t create the products that enrich our lives — they help grow the businesses that create the products that enrich our lives. Yet many people believe on some level that finance is immoral. Maybe not totally. Maybe it has some redeeming features. But at best it is regarded as a necessary evil. If our economic well-being depends on a vibrant and innovative financial industry, why does no one speak up to defend finance?
In their new book, In Pursuit of Wealth: The Moral Case for Finance, Yaron Brook and Don Watkins dispel the prevailing negative myths about finance and clearly lay out the industry’s virtues within a moral framework. This ambitious book shows readers how a moral reframing can counter the vilification of financiers.
“Those who recognize the irreplaceable value of finance must change the terms of the debate,” says Brook. “The question should not be whether financiers are ‘greedy’ or selfish or motivated by money. The question should be: Do they profit through creating values that enhance human well-being — or are they parasites who line their pockets through short-range gambling and predatory exploitation?” Brook and Watkins argue convincingly that if we ask that question and answer it honestly, then the moral case for finance is undeniable.
Financiers use their minds to create wealth — not by taking existing materials and turning them into more valuable goods, but by taking existing wealth and putting it toward more valuable uses. Brook and Watkins show, in clear and straightforward language, that if we allow values to be gained in a free market and in a finance industry free of government interference to guide us, we will enjoy the benefits of a flourishing society.
Contributors: Yaron Brook, Don Watkins, Raymond C. Niles, Doug Altner.
What others are saying about In Pursuit of Wealth:
“This book destroys the myth advanced by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren that, because it is driven by greed, Wall Street (the financial market) is the source of our economic challenges. Brook and Watkins prove the opposite, which is that finance, because it is a fundamentally moral activity consistent with man’s essential nature, is productive, innovative and a gigantic creator of economic well-being.”
— John A. Allison, Retired Chairman and CEO BB&T, Retired President and CEO Cato Institute
“The 2008 financial crisis, taxpayer bailouts, and reckless Federal Reserve monetary policy, have enabled the left to both vilify the financial industry and shift the blame for government created problems to Wall Street. Yaron Brook and Don Watkins provide a much-needed counterbalance to this false narrative. Absent government and Fed interference, finance is an integral component of a vibrant free market economy, where value is not extracted but created. If liberal grandstanding and a biased media have blinded you to the truth, this book will open your eyes.”
— Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital and author of The Real Crash: America’s Coming Bankruptcy — How to Save Yourself and Your Country
“An insightful collection of essays that gets to the heart of finance and its tremendous value. Yaron and Don do a masterful job of taking on complex topics and applying concise, objective analysis. It’s rare to find a book that looks at finance from both the economic and moral sides — all while being an enjoyable read.”
— Dmitry Balyasny, Balyasny Asset Management
“The political issue of our time is, ‘Who caused the financial crisis?’ If you believe, like most people, that it was greedy bankers and an immoral financial system, then most socialist policies are justified. If you believe that only bad government policies could cause a problem that big, then no socialist policies are legitimate. Brook and Watkins in an easy to read, breezy style dismantle the greedy banker argument and illustrate how primitive arguments made more than 2,000 years ago are still with us. This book is a must — especially for non-financial types.”
— Jeff Yass, Susquehanna Investment Group
“A cogent book explaining why profit motive, wealth creation and independent financial systems are moral imperatives.”
— Avery More, Venture Capitalist