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Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller

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Chapter 24

Some Unfortunate Incentives to Sleaziness Inherent in Finance

There is a widespread sense that there is something sleazy about the business of finance, or the people who populate it. This impression is probably behind the commonly voiced opinion that it is a shame so many young people today are going into finance-related occupations, when they could be doing something more high-minded in other fields.

Many people in business do seem to feel rewarded, for the short run at least, in putting salesmanship ahead of purpose, in cutting corners on the law or the intent of the law; they seem to be focused on the money above all else and to have little moral purpose in their business affairs. Yet if one lives in the real world one has to work ...

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