Has financialization gone too far?
As chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke can explain a lot about its response to the housing bubble. What he can't explain is whether much of our finance industry is more trouble than it's worth.
Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius By Sylvia Nasar (Simon & Schuster, 558 pp., $35) I thought I knew what this book was going to be about when I started it, but by the time I came to the end I was no longer sure.
Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative DestructionBy Thomas K. McCraw (Harvard University Press, 719 pp., $35) I KNEW Joseph Schumpeter only in the last five years of his life, from 1945 until his death in 1950, at the age of sixty-six. To say that I knew him is actually a bit of an exaggeration. First as a returning undergraduate and then as a doctoral student in economics at Harvard, I attended his courses on advanced economic theory andthe history of economic thought. The theory lectures bordered onincoherent; they alluded to everything but analyzed nothing.