Finance, Society and Sustainability: How to Make the Financial System Work for the Economy, People and Planet

  • 6h 18m
  • Nick Silver
  • Palgrave Macmillan Ltd
  • 2017

This book is a critical analysis of the impact of the financial system on the economy, society and the natural environment. It cuts through the noise to looks at its purpose, its activities, and what it does in practice.

Unlike other books that cover the last financial crisis and the risk of another one; this book is about the consequence of the financial system continuing in its current form. It argues that the financial system is a construct of flawed economic theories, designed in the hope that the market will efficiently allocate society’s capital. Instead, the finance sector allocates savings and investment to maximize its own revenues, with resulting collateral damage to the economy, society and the environment.

Although governments try to preserve and regulate the existing system, it is being replaced by a new system driven by technological innovation. The book describes the opportunities this presents for a renaissance of the financial system to actually meet the needs of society, and to re-engineer our economy to avoid environmental crisis.

The book is for anyone who would like to understand the finance system’s purpose, what it does in practice and its impact on the real world. For those working in the industry it provides an overview of the system, their place within it, and how to bring about change. For students and academics it provides a valuable critique of the financial system, and the theories on which it is based. For financial policymakers and regulators it identifies key challenges in their activities.

About the Author

Nick Silver is an actuary and economist whose expertise includes pensions and insurance, risk management and sustainable finance, in particular working in developing economies. He is managing director of Callund Consulting Limited which for 40 years has advised governments on pensions, social protection and developing capital markets. Nick is a founder and director of Climate Bonds, which works with governments and investors to develop the green bond market. He has advised the UN, UK and EU on the carbon markets, climate finance in developing countries and managing risk from climate change. Nick is also a founder and director of Radix, the think tank of the radical centre. Nick is a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and Cass Business School, UK, and lectures at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and City University, London, UK. Nick is a freeman of the City of London and was recently a member of council of the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries. Nick has authored a number of papers and articles and has been widely quoted in the national media on topics related to sustainable finance, pensions and government debt.

In this Book

  • Introduction: The Archaeology of Finance
  • Dramatis Personae: An Introduction to the Savings Channel, Investment Management and Capital Markets
  • The Potemkin Market: Are Capital Markets Free Markets or an Extension of the State?
  • The Sisyphus Savings System: Does the Savings Industry Do What It Is There for?
  • La Grande Illusion: How the Financial System Does Not Invest Savings
  • A Kind of Magic: Banks, Property and Money
  • The Economy's Helminths: How the Finance System Uses Capital to Generate Revenue
  • Collateral Damage: Impact of the Financial System on the Real World
  • On Value and Values: The Value Embedded in the Financial System and the Values That It Could Embody
  • A Financial Renaissance?: Some Modest Proposals to Create a Flourishing Financial System
  • Epilogue: Twilight of the Gods of Finance