O'Reilly logo

Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 19

Finance, Mathematics, and Beauty

Financial theory, as well as economic theory more generally, can be beautiful. I was struck by remarks to this effect at a retirement dinner for my colleague Herbert Scarf, a distinguished mathematical economist. A number of speakers at the dinner noted that his lectures were “elegant.” They of course meant that the field itself had an inherent beauty, and that Herb was a master at expressing it.

The fact that the real world of financial capitalism is so often messy and inhuman, and that it involves so much hypocrisy and manipulation, may detract from this sense of beauty. But the same is true of nature: for all its beauty, it produces ugly things as well.

Symmetry

“Beauty is bound up with symmetry,” ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required