Thursday, April 7, 2016

On John Kay's "Other People's Money"



Kay’s book has one of the most honest parentheticals in the history of finance books. After a sentence on synthetic CDOs, he has an aside where he says quote: “(You really don’t want to know)” (p 60). 

 So you get a sense of the tone and intended audience of this book here. I liked about the first two thirds of the book, but he ends up after looking at all the problems with the finance industry that the issue with the industry is “too much government involvement in the financial sector, not too little” (p 203). 

And with me being a statist and an interventionist, I reluctantly followed him down the path for the last third where he approving cited Austrian school thinkers and even worse – he mentions Nassim Taleb approvingly (which is an impeachable offense in my Republic). So it is interesting to look at a thinker who can identify many of the same problems that you do but who has a vastly different prescription than you do, but the enjoyment level dropped from when I was reading as a compatriot to when I was forced to read as a critoc. Not everyone will follow that path and Kay is smart and a clear writer, so this is a book that I would mostly recommend.