Financial innovation: Too much or too little?
In assigning blame for the recent economic crisis, many have pointed to the proliferation of new, complex financial products--mortgage securitization in particular--as being at the heart of the meltdown. The prominent economists from academia, policy institutions, and financial practice who contribute to this book, however, take a more nuanced view of financial innovation. They argue that it was not too much innovation but too little innovation--and the lack of balance between debt-related products and asset-related products--that lies behind the crisis. Prevention of future financial crises, then, will be aided by a regulatory and legal framework that fosters the informed use of financial innovation and its positive effects on the economy rather than quashing it entirely. The book, which includes two contributions from Robert Shiller as well as a discussion of Shiller's "MacroMarkets" tool, considers the key ingredients of financial innovation from both academia and industry; the positive potential but also the risks of financial innovation and the influence of producers on consumers; rationality- and behavioral-based viewpoints on the causes of the recent crisis; the link between the cycle of financial innovation and financial crisis; and how future innovation-linked crises might be avoided.