Start reading A Call for Judgment: Sensible Finance for a Dynamic Economy on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

A Call for Judgment: Sensible Finance for a Dynamic Economy [Kindle Edition]

Amar Bhide
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $29.95
Kindle Price: $19.99
You Save: $9.96 (33%)

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $19.99  
Hardcover, Bargain Price $11.98  
Speak Now by Kenji Yoshino
Speak Now by Kenji Yoshino
A nuanced and authoritative account of Hollingsworth v. Perry, the trial that will stand as the most potent argument for marriage equality. Learn more | See similar books

Book Description

Our prosperity requires the enterprise of innumerable individuals and businesses who exercise their imagination and judgment-and bear responsibility for outcomes. And widespread enterprise is fostered through dialogue and relationships, not merely prices in anonymous markets. Yet modern finance blatantly neglects these necessary elements for enterprise. In the last several decades finance has become increasingly centralized, distanced, and mechanistic. Instead of many lending officers making judgments about borrowers they know, credit decisions are the output of the models of a few Wall Street wizards and credit agencies. This robotic centralized finance stifles the dynamism of the real economy and leads to recurring collapses.

A Call for Judgment clearly explains how bad theories and mis-regulation have caused a dangerous divergence between the real economy and finance. In simple language Bhide takes apart the so-called advances in modern finance, showing how backward-looking, top-down models were used to mass-produce toxic products. Thanks to excessively tight securities laws and loose banking laws, anonymous transactions have displaced relationship-based finance. And Bhide offers, tough simple rules for restoring relationships and case-by-case judgment: limit banks--and all deposit taking institutions--to basic lending and nothing else.
A Call for Judgment is both a primer on the role of finance in a dynamic modern economy, and a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of banks functioning as highly centralized, mechanistic entities. It is essential reading for anyone interested in bringing the economy back to a point at which decisions can be made that foster organic economic growth without the potentially disastrous risks currently accepted by modern finance.

Editorial Reviews


"Events have raised large questions about the academic theories supporting the concept that our heavily 'engineered' financial markets are self-disciplined and efficiently allocate capital. Amar Bhidé's skeptical analysis should stimulate basic reconsideration."--Paul Volcker, chairman of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board and former chairman of the Federal Reserve

"This great book, Amar Bhidé's third in a decade, is an essential and distinct contribution in our hour of need. It first reformulates how modern capitalism does what it does best--innovation. Then, in high gear, it shows us how our capitalism has been brought down by a thousand cuts: the idea that rational investors always know precisely what they're doing, the perversion of the banking industry, the errors of deregulation and the striking errors in some new regulations. A Call for Judgment is not a cry for some auto da fé on Wall Street but rather a brilliant and reasoned plea for a basic revamp of our capitalist institutions so as to regain the dynamism of old."--Edmund S. Phelps, McVickar Professor of Political Economy and Director of the Center on Capitalism and Society, Columbia University, and 2006 Nobel laureate in Economics

"A Call for Judgment is an intellectual firecracker--full of wisdom, common sense, and hard-hitting reform proposals. Few other writers, if any, can match Amar Bhidé's deep knowledge of economic theory and historical detail with his first-hand experience in both entrepreneurship and real-world finance. It's hard to imagine a more useful analysis or guide for what must now be done."--Thomas K. McCraw, Straus Professor of Business History, Emeritus, Harvard Business School, author of Prophet of Innovation: Joseph Schumpeter and Creative Destruction

"A Call for Judgment presents many interesting insights on necessary innovations in the world of today and tomorrow. Amar Bhidé prompts also some conclusions for improving the rules and ways for future banking-supervision in the United States. This book is a very positive contribution to a necessary debate."--Hans Tietmeyer, former president, Deutsche Bundesbank

"Amar Bhidé's analysis of the economic crisis that exploded on us a few years ago is extremely informative and thought provoking. He writes from an experience both in business, where he could see what was going on around him, and in academia, where he has had the time to study and reflect on what happened and why. Bhidé's discussion of what we need to do to avoid a recurrence is illuminating and persuasive."--Richard R. Nelson, George Blumenthal Professor of International and Public Affairs, Business, and Law, Emeritus, Columbia University and winner of the 2006 Honda Prize and co-author of An Evolutionary Theory of Economic Change

About the Author

Amar Bhidé, Schmidheiny Professor at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, has served as Glaubinger Professor of Business at Columbia University, a consultant at McKinsey & Company and a proprietary trader at E.F. Hutton. Bhidé is a founding member of the Center on Capitalism and Society, editor of Capitalism and Society, and has written about the financial crisis in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Forbes. Author of The Venturesome Economy, The Origin and Evolution of New Businesses, and Of Politics and Economic Reality, Bhidé received a doctorate and an MBA with high distinction from the Harvard Business School.

Product Details

  • File Size: 713 KB
  • Print Length: 366 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0199756074
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA (September 9, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00440CQX6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,086,082 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Objective and expansive view financial meltdown September 30, 2010
Since October 2008, many have written about the financial meltdown that sparked the Great Recession. Most books and articles were about "what" happened; very few attempted to write about "why" it happened.

These "what" and "why" attempts informed me but I learned little to draw lessons for corrective actions and for the future. These authors were like the proverbial blind men trying to describe the elephant by touching/feeling its different parts. Additionally these authors were academicians, journalists and financial engineers who wrote from limited perspectives of their own domain expertise or experience, mostly in finance, economics and financial journalism. These authors provided subjective views of a vested or inadvertent participant in the creation of the financial bubble.

I needed a detailed, objective view to learn about why financial meltdown came about and how it could be avoided in the future. Amar Bhidé's Call for Judgment went a long way in satiating that thirst.

Amar Bhidé is Schmidheiny Professor at Fletcher School, and has served as Glaubinger Professor of Business at Columbia University. His book is expansive in its scope.

It has broad content, drawing from scholarship and research in Economics, Finance, Government Regulation, Quantitative Sciences, and Innovation. Bhidé uses his deep knowledge of theory and practice in these seemingly disconnected disciplines to support and tear apart deeply rooted contentions and practices.

Additionally, it is expansive in its time horizons. Bhidé is a credible business researcher and historian. He goes as far back as is necessary, sometimes several centuries, to provide details that evolved and contributed to our current situation.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Professor Bhide is absolutely correct in his prescription for ending the current big banking business and spurring creation of smaller banks. Smaller banks that are more focused on the lending and not speculating in investment securities or selling insurance, can provide much needed boost to small businesses throughout America.

The giant banking enterprises of today have lost touch with lending (their primary function) and have instead focused on offering a whole host of investment and insurance services. The repeal of Glass Steagall in 1999 allowed traditional banks to do investment banking. Banks thereby engaged in high "risk-high-reward" bets tied to mortgages and eventually those bets led to their downfall in 2008.

As a CPA, I see so many businesses hindered by lack of lending. The big banks are simply unable to look beyond highly inefficient quantitative measures of creditworthiness. In addition to quantitative metrics, lending of the past focused on qualitative aspects of borrowers-expertise, experience, industry, competitive advantage etc. The large scale banking of today simply has no room for qualitative judgments as loans have become commodities that are sold on Wall Street.

A return to the basics of lending should help more businesses and individuals qualify for loans and get our moribund economy going. I strongly support Dr. Bhide's call for reinstatement of Glass Steagall, whereby commercial banks are restricted to only accepting deposits and making loans. In Mr. Bhide's words, "we need to separate utility banking from casino banking.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific, important book February 1, 2013
By Larry
This is an important book which should be read by everyone who wants to better understand how finance impacts society. Prof. Bhide's argument is really one of where knowledge lies, who should make decisions, and how having those best placed to make them will enhance society. He persuasively outlines why decentralized judgment and using prices allows for better decisions and greater innovation. The book then provides a strong critique of much of modern finance. Finally, Prof. Bhide presents a logical proposal for reform. Well written, comprehensive and pulls form a wide variety of sources. This is an important book for anyone interested in how our financial system affects our lives and what can be done to improve it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Decentralized decision making is essential to capitalism. Entrepreneurial inspiration and innovation can advance society faster than the slow march of a centralized, government-planned economy. But like government bureaucracies that become unmanageably large, oversized banks also can impede progress. Simply allowing market forces to determine the size and scope of the big banks is debatable public policy, but bank mergers have led to centralization and to the mechanization of lending, thus adding systemic risk to the US banking system. This far-reaching book includes a rich history of this industry's development and a detailed account of its destabilizing role in the 2008 financial panic. Amar Bhidé - a business professor and a trader -describes more than he prescribes, and his prescription is as controversial as it is compact: Limit severely what banks can do. getAbstract recommends the book to readers seeking a deeper understanding of how financial institutions drive, and sometimes derail, the entire economy.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?

More About the Author

Amar Bhidé, Schmidheiny Professor at the Fletcher School, has served as Glaubinger Professor of Business at Columbia University, a consultant at McKinsey & Company and a proprietary trader at E.F. Hutton. Bhidé is a founding member of the Center on Capitalism and Society, editor of Capitalism and Society, and has written about the financial crisis in the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Forbes.


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category