Finance, Society and the Environment
Edited by Sabri Boubaker, Douglas Cumming and Duc K. Nguyen
chapter 8: Financial markets like the potter’s hands? Rethinking finance for sustainability in a civil society perspective
Profound transformations have shifted the financial sector away from being the plumber of the economy into a ‘self-referential’ sector pursuing higher-profit and risky, speculative activities while being careless about the consequences for society. Evidence from the financial crisis reveals both the sinister features of this transformation – size, interconnectedness, complexity and opacity – and the mechanisms – deregulation and macroeconomic imbalances – that allowed them to dominate. A greater civil society engagement in the debate about finance is essential to challenge the lack of ambition showed in the current political agenda for financial reform, as well as to advocate for the implementation of alternative ideas for a transition towards a sustainable financial system.
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