Can Finance Save the World? Regaining Power over Money to Serve the Common Good
Just as Thomas Piketty offered a sweeping critique and progressive reassessment of capitalism, former World Bank Group chief financial officer Bertrand Badré looks at the destructive role finance played in the global economic crisis of 2007–2008 and offers a bold prescription for making it a force for good.
Badré says that finance is inherently neither good nor bad. It's just a tool—the most powerful tool on earth. Used correctly, it can be at the heart of the way we address many of the world's biggest problems, ranging from climate change to the eradication of poverty to building much-needed infrastructure. He describes innovations in financial tools and approaches that are already happening around the world and looks at the role regulation can play in channeling the power of finance in a positive direction. He details options for strengthening international cooperation for financial stability and prosperity and overcoming the blinkered nationalism currently on the rise. And he tells what is working and what needs to change in financing the sustainable development of the world.
This book is rich with practical examples, some developed by Badré himself. For instance, he describes how at the World Bank he devised an innovative way to use insurance, a financial tool rarely considered in international development, to buttress fragile emerging economies against natural disasters and pandemics. Initiatives like these show that, as Badré writes, “when controlled and used intelligently, with benevolence and inventiveness, finance can accomplish great things.”