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Finance and the Good Society by Robert J. Shiller

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Chapter 3

Bankers

Banks—and bankers—have survived centuries of financial evolution, and thus have found an important ecological niche in the economy. The form taken by banks evolves steadily; their function remains much the same. Their activities are fundamental to the economic environment; notably they provide transaction services and contribute to the money supply, which in turn facilitates commerce. They are so involved in our daily lives that they are known by everyone, and banking is a concept integral to modern world culture.

And yet there is immense hostility today toward bankers. The word bankster (rhymes with gangster) has come back into vogue to describe them. The word was first coined amidst the anger of the Great Depression of the ...

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