Magazine October 3, 2011, Issue

Innovations and Limitations

A Wall Street sign outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York City (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)
Where financial innovation went wrong, and how to set it right

Innovation propels economies forward. It is why most Americans live long lives in relative comfort instead of toiling on a subsistence farm. Innovation usually refers to the creation of a new product or a new method of production. But it comes at a price; it is, by nature, unpredictable. When a new good comes to market, there is typically uncertainty regarding its true value. This may initially cause economic instability and dislocation.

But if the benefits of innovation are worth the cost, is financial innovation different from innovation in other fields? Lately, a popular perception has emerged that innovation coming from

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Bless the Beasts

Some virtues are by accidents of history associated with utopianism, hostility to private property, anti-clericalism, and other core beliefs of the Left. I can scandalize a yoga instructor anywhere in ...
Politics & Policy

A Long Red Sunset

One of the hardy staples of American history is the question of what happened to American socialism. As the only industrialized nation in the world in which avowedly socialist or ...
Politics & Policy

Going Viral

Some of the scariest material that Stephen King has ever written — scarier, in its way, than anything in The Shining or ’Salem’s Lot or Pet Sematary — is contained ...


Happy Warrior


At the start of the summer, I attended a graduation ceremony in Vermont, for which a bigshot speaker had been flown up from New York. “Your world is changing so ...
Politics & Policy


The Ron Paul Movement Rides On It is not surprising that with the polls ranking him third nationally, Ron Paul would finally make the cover of National Review (“Ron Paul’s Last ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Bad news for the Democrats: It turns out some of those people who cling bitterly to their religion are Orthodox Jews in Queens. ‐ The great strength of the conservative ...
The Bent Pin

Terminal Eloquence

This column was supposed to be about presidential personality problems. I should have started writing it sooner to give myself plenty of time but I was irresistibly distracted by a ...

Proper Aim

Ask any employer, and you’ll hear the same lament: We’d love to hire people, but we need an inexplicable modification of the tax code exquisitely calibrated to provide a tiny ...


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