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Financiers don’t create the products that enrich our lives—they help grow the businesses that create the products that enrich our lives. Yet many people believe on some level that finance is immoral. Maybe not totally. Maybe it has some redeeming features. But at best it is regarded as a necessary evil.  If our economic well-being depends on a vibrant and innovative financial industry, why does no one speak up to defend finance?

In their new book, In Pursuit of Wealth: The Moral Case for Finance, (ARI, September, ISBN: 978-0-9960101-0-8), Yaron Brook and Don Watkins dispel the prevailing negative myths about finance and clearly lay out the industry’s virtues within a moral framework. This ambitious book shows readers how we can reframe societal morals and end the vilification of financiers.

“Those who recognize the irreplaceable value of finance must change the terms of the debate,” says Brook, “The question should not be whether financiers are ‘greedy’ or selfish or motivated by money. The question should be: do they profit through creating values that enhance human well-being or are they parasites who line their pockets through short-range gambling and predatory exploitation?” Brook and Watkins argue convincingly that If we ask that question and answer it honestly then the moral case for finance is undeniable. Financiers use their minds to create wealth—not by taking existing materials and turning them into more valuable goods, but by taking existing wealth and putting it toward more valuable uses.

Brook and Watkin show, in accessible language, that if we let personal achievement guide us, we will be a more honest and happy society.

Yaron Brook is available for interviews. To schedule, please contact sleopold@aynrand.org

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