Where finance meets the humanities — really

Friday, July 14, 2017 - 12:02 in Mathematics & Economics

As an economist, Mihir Desai has gained wide recognition for his expertise in tax policy and international and corporate finance. His writing and teaching have covered such topics as proposed reform of the U.S. tax system and the misuse of high-powered incentives and their impact on American competitiveness. But Desai, Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance at Harvard Business School and a professor at Harvard Law School, has set aside his usual academic work in a new book, “The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return.” In it, Desai uses plain language and stories drawn from literature and art to explain the basic principles of finance and show how deeply they are rooted in the humanities. The Gazette spoke to Desai about the book and the argument he advances in it that finance and the humanities have much to gain from reaffirming and strengthening the connections between...

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