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Financing the Future: Market-Based Innovations for Growth by Glenn Yago, Franklin Allen

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8. Six Cardinal Rules of Financial Innovation

Ever since the seismic jolts that shook world markets in 2008, a full-throated debate has raged about whether financial innovation got us into this mess in the first place. Critics have been all too eager to break out the torches and pitchforks.

But it’s our contention that dreaming up intentionally opaque financial instruments for the sole purpose of speculating or deceiving has nothing whatsoever to do with real innovation. The genuine article is all about increasing transparency, measuring and reducing risk, and finding new ways to direct capital to where it’s vitally needed. At this perilous moment in history—burdened with a deep recession and facing unprecedented challenges in health, housing, ...

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