Elgar original reference
Edited by Jan Toporowski and Jo Michell
When we were asked some years ago by Edward Elgar to consider preparing a ‘handbook of alternative finance’ our initial response was to turn down such a proposal on two grounds. The first was that such a handbook might sell too well among wealthy individuals, only to disappoint them when they realized that it was about alternative theories and approaches to finance, rather than about investing in Stradivarius violins, the paintings of the Camden Town Group, or the guano market of the South Pacific. But this objection might have been overcome by a more informative title indicating the scholarly rather than accounting character of the volume. A more serious objection to the whole enterprise is the very small amount of what might be called ‘alternative’ theory relating to finance. There are, of course, any number of obscure investment strategies that might be called ‘alternative’, whose purveyors promise higher returns than with more conventional finance. Indeed, there is now a whole new sub-set of investment funds, called hedge funds, that specialize in finding such alternative investment strategies and securing those higher returns.