Although financial markets often try to distance themselves from gambling, the two factors have far more in common than usually thought. When, historically, there were no financial institutions such as banks, lotteries constituted the ways by which expensive items were disposed of, and governments raised money quickly. Gambling tables fulfilled roles that venture capital and banking do today. 'Gamblers' created clearinghouses and sustained liquidity. When those gamblers bet on price distributions in futures markets, they were redefined as 'speculators'. Today they are called 'hedge fund managers' or 'bankers'. Though the names have changed, the actions undertaken have essentially stayed the same. This book shows how discussion on 'chance', 'risk', 'gambling', 'insurance', and 'speculation' illuminates where societies stood, where we are today, and where we may be heading.Read more
- Presents Brenner and co-authors' unique view of how gambling, investing, and financial markets have evolved (and partly stayed the same) over time
- Also anticipates likely future conditions of investing societies
- Writing is highly accessible, nearly all statistics in appendices
Reviews & endorsements
'Did you know that the modern insurance industry is a direct outgrowth of gambling? Did you know that poker provided one of the most important sources of capital for penniless Western frontiersmen in the United States? Did you know that major opera houses of Europe began as gambling halls with the theaters attached (history, if not always the quality of music, repeats itself in Las Vegas)? Do you know the real reason the NFL resists the legalization of sports betting in America? For the fascinating answers and insights into the politics, the finance and the economics of that over-maligned pastime, gambling, and, yes, including the surprising role it has frequently played in finance – read A World of Chance. The odds are strong that you will love it.' Henry G. Manne, Dean Emeritus, George Mason Law SchoolSee more reviews
'No one since Joseph Schumpeter has done more than Reuven Brenner to put risk-taking and innovation at the center of economic theory.' Laury Minard, Forbes
'A World of Chance undermines our usual view of 'economic man' and substitutes the angst-ridden, uncertain denizen of a world that offers no certainties and requires risk-taking as a matter of survival. … For providing a theoretical foundation for the counter-intuitive behavior of American taxpayers, the Brenners deserve the Nobel Prize in economics.' Asia Times
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- Date Published: November 2008
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521884662
- length: 358 pages
- dimensions: 229 x 157 x 23 mm
- weight: 0.65kg
- contains: 6 tables
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. From religion to risk management - what do you do when facing uncertainty?
2. Anything wrong with gambling as a pastime?
3. Are you rich? Risk-taking, gambling, and the leapfrogging instinct
4. Betting on futures
5. Gambling - as banking: poker, junk bonds and central banks
6. 'Lottery is a taxation, and Heav'n be prais'd, it is easily rais'd'
7. Politics and prohibitions, or, what's a good tax anyway?
8. How gamblers and risk-takers correct the future
Appendix 1. Gambling and risk-taking: the leapfrogging instinct
Appendix 2. Human nature and the 'civilizing' process
Appendix 3. A statistical profile of gamblers.
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