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Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller

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Chapter 29

The Dispersal of Ownership of Capital

The history of financial capitalism is to a substantial extent a history of deliberate government policies to disperse financial interests, to disperse ownership across a wider segment of the population. Such policies have helped democratize finance.

People seldom realize to what extent we live in a society that is structured by financial design to become better and better over time. The history that brought us to certain financial arrangements is often forgotten, and it is useful to remind ourselves of some of that history. Here I offer some examples of past progress that is unseen and unappreciated today.

A modern market economy seems to many observers increasingly to be run by a relatively small ...

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