I NY Times skriver Robert J. Shiller, professor på Yale, lite om historiken kring hur Wall street utvecklades. Han gör en koppling till det som nu sker inom Crowdfunding, som faktiskt är en del av The Jobs Act (Jump-start Our Business Start-ups) som president Obama signerade förra veckan.
Shiller beskriver hur en reglering på 1800-talet kring finansiering (begränsning av risk för den som investerar) möjliggjorde investeringar i företag, och att detta gav upphov till det moderna sättet att investera i bolag.
Consider Wall Street in 1811. It wasn’t obvious then, but worldwide economic growth received a major boost that year from a New York law that allowed anyone who satisfied some minimal requirements to set up a corporation, with limited liability. The law turned out to be one of the most socially productive pieces of modern financial history.
By clarifying that shareholders would never be personally liable for a corporation’s debts, the New York law would allow investors to hold a diversified portfolio consisting of many stocks. That wasn’t feasible without first establishing limited liability, because of the risk that a lawsuit involving any company in the portfolio could bring a major personal loss. The New York law, proven successful, was copied globally. This created a pool of investors for which investment bankers could place shares.
Man hoppas på att Crowdfunding i sig själv ska vara en innovation med möjlighet att skapa ett bättre fungerande finansiella system; mer demokratiska menar artikeln.
The essence of finance is that contracts should benefit all parties. We may be able to revise our entitlement programs, creating them in a more refined way, using data and analysis to account for the life situations of individuals while still retaining the simple concept of fairness.
Likewise, financial innovation can make our responses to catastrophes more intelligent. It can channel our gambling impulses into something more constructive. It can make speculative bubbles less of a problem, and help make prices in financial markets better reflect fundamental information.
As in the examples of crowdfunding, limited liability and small-business loans, financial professionals can better direct creative energies on longstanding problems that are lamentably neglected today. And they may be able to focus specifically on problems specific to the very poor.