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Financing the Future: Market-Based Innovations for Growth (Wharton School Publishing--Milken Institute Series on Financial Innovations) 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0137011278
ISBN-10: 013701127X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Franklin Allen is the Nippon Life Professor of Finance and Professor of Economics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he has been on the faculty since 1980. A current codirector of the Wharton Financial Institutions Center, he was formerly vice dean and director of Wharton Doctoral Programs, as well as executive editor of the Review of Financial Studies, one of the nation’s leading academic finance journals. Allen is a past president of the American Finance Association, the Western Finance Association, the Society for Financial Studies, and the Financial Intermediation Research Society. His main areas of interest are corporate finance, asset pricing, financial innovation, comparative financial systems, and financial crises. He is a coauthor, with Richard Brealey and Stewart Myers, of the eighth and ninth editions of the textbook Principles of Corporate Finance. Allen received his doctorate from Oxford University.


Glenn Yago is director of Capital Studies at the Milken Institute. He is also a visiting professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and directs the Koret-Milken Institute Fellows program. Yago’s work focuses on the innovative use of financial instruments to solve longstanding economic development, social, and environmental challenges. His research and projects have contributed to policy innovations fostering the democratization of capital to traditionally underserved markets and entrepreneurs in the United States and around the world. Yago is the coauthor of several books, including The Rise and Fall of the U.S. Mortgage and Credit Markets, Global Edge, Restructuring Regulation and Financial Institutions, and Beyond Junk Bonds. He was a professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Yago earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.



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Product Details

  • Series: Wharton School Publishing--Milken Institute Series on Financial Innovations
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional; 1 edition (April 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 013701127X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0137011278
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,130,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By RNS VINE VOICE on May 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As a liberal arts undergrad who went on to get an MBA -- which included five economics classes and two finance classes -- I was pleasantly surprised by the readability of this book. If only other business texts were so informed and well-written! It's almost as though the authors are carrying on a conversation for the benefit of the reader over a cup of coffee; as, instead of the usual academic jargon of the classroom, we encounter straightforward discussions regarding the foundations of modern finance -- and, present-day implications -- written in plain, conversational English.

Using definitions from the OED (The Oxford English Dictionary) and quotes from Shakespeare, the authors discuss the origins of words that make up the jargon and vocabulary used in finance. They then narrate the development of financial innovations, beginning with Egypt and Mesopotamia, southern Europe, then Greece, Macedonia, Persia, Rome, on to Europe during the age of exploration, then to the trading companies of England, the supremacy of the Dutch financiers during the 17th century, then the development and expansion of merchant banks by the British, French and Dutch, which led to the economic and geographic integration of markets using rail, steel and coal, and the expansion of public equities after WW II. The authors then discuss, in some depth, the inflation of the 1970s and the impact on mortgage-backed securities, defining -- along the way -- commodities, exchanges, futures, options, and offer a groundwork discussion to address the question that's on everyone's mind these days: "Did financial innovation cause the [housing] crisis?"

In Chapter 2, the authors offer readers a basic grounding in some of the most prominent foundational theories that have shaped modern finance.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I always thought that one guy named James Watt invented the steam engine that sparked off what we now call the Industrial Revolution. How simplistic my view of human progress had been!

This book is not just about finance, it is also about the history of recent human evolution dating back at least 5,000 years when the first writing--to the best of our knowledge---began. Writing began because of the need for accounting: making sure people who need to get paid got paid. First major financial innovation, really, that we know of. Coming back to more recent history, I now know that it was really the remarkable financial innovations preceding the industrial revolution that enabled the latter, indeed encouraged it. Innovative capital structures in which money can flow speedily and easily necessarily encourages greater efficiencies such as the industrial revolution. Money flow is really information flow, which also explains the information revolution.

Not all financial innovations are well meant, as this book discusses factually. Some are created for their sheer complexity in the hopes of creating 'loop holes'. While such unscrupulous 'innovations' must be weeded out, the importance of continuous financial innovation is at the very core of human civilization and this book explains why, and how.

Highly recommended reading should you wish to see under the hood of our global society.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Franklin Allen and Glenn Yago's "Financing the Future - Market-Based Innovations for Growth," provides a broad swath through the evolution of financial markets and shows how they are and can be used to for the betterment of society as a whole. The book is a relatively breezy read and readily accessible to the average financial neophyte.
The basic premise presented is that financial markets work and when used properly can be a critical ingredient to making the world a better place. Sure, there are some problems, and certain players can take advantage of unsuspecting victims, but financial innovation is necessary and can help society advance in many ways. One chapter, Environment Financing, describes how markets if structured correctly can actually help promote better sustainability of our earth. The big idea is that environmental resources if valued and priced properly can lead to a sustainable planet. Other chapters describe how financial innovation can be used to finance new drugs and genetically engineered medication not yet discovered (Financing Cures) and emerging economies to better distribute wealth and eradicate the scourge of poverty (Financing the Developing World). The authors even find a way to pull a positive spin to the mortgage financing mess which gave rise to the alphabet soup of derivatives of mass destruction to point out that in spite of all that happened, the invention of mortgages has allowed many to afford housing that otherwise would not have been affordable or available to the average John and Jane Doe.
Allen and Yago do a good job trying to educate without diving into technicalities of financial engineering. Moreover, there is no hint of proselytizing from an ivory tower attitude too often found in such scholarly writings on subjects of this matter.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Fantastic book. Now more than ever we need thoughtful analysis and relevant background information with regards to the financial services industry. It's very easy to have a knee jerk reaction in the face of the financial collapse of 2008 but in many ways this is short sighted to the elements necessary as we look to insert capital into the next wave of high tech companies.

The authors do a very good job of presenting the topics in an easy to grab manor, and at a little more than 200 pages it's an easy weekend read. Most importantly it would give someone who has not delved into the modem markets a thorough primer - one far more insightful than the picture presented on TV clips and at or above the level of the WSJ/NYT (and mostly there because of space purposes).

Recommended for those that want to dive in past the headlines and understand how things really work.
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