By Reuven Brenner
Even though monetary markets frequently try and distance themselves from playing, the 2 elements have way more in universal than often inspiration. while, traditionally there have been no monetary associations comparable to banks, lotteries constituted the methods through which pricey goods have been disposed of, and governments raised funds fast. playing tables fulfilled roles that enterprise capital and banking do at the present time. "Gamblers" created clearinghouses and sustained liquidity. whilst these gamblers wager on fee distributions in futures markets, they have been redefined as "speculators." this present day they're referred to as "hedge fund managers" or "bankers." although the names have replaced, the activities undertaken have basically stayed an identical. This ebook indicates how dialogue on "chance," "risk," "gambling," "insurance," and "speculation" illuminates the place societies stood, the place we're this present day, and the place we should be heading.
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Additional resources for A World of Chance: Betting on Religion, Games, Wall Street
Gamblers and risk-takers, when held accountable, have been very much part of the sequence of events that helped societies leap into the unknown. True, they committed mistakes when doing so. But they also corrected those mistakes and others quickly. There is no science to making decisions in the face of uncertainty – incalculable risks, that is. There cannot be. But there are ways to manage such uncertainty: the best way is to rely on information drawn from the bets of millions of people who put up money to back their ideas and challenge their luck.
14 Criticism of how poor people chose to spend their leisure was common. Medieval preachers denounced festive gatherings and sporting contests, because these diversions took place when people were supposed to go to church and be engaged in religious rituals. Regulations on gambling were imposed in the name of either diminishing riots and fighting or making rank distinctions, as gaming was permitted among the rich at all times but limited among the poor to the twelve days of Christmas. 15 As we will see in Chapter 5, when looking at gamblers’ behavior in the United States, there may have been some truth to this: people often preferred to pay their gambling debts over their taxes – though, as we show, mistaken fiscal and monetary policies brought these attitudes about.
Also, both clearinghouses and investment banks have their origins in gambling establishments. In fact, many other institutions that are part of established financial markets today have their origins in gambling and were often misunderstood. Also, closer examination reveals that occasional surges in people’s willingness to gamble have been due to governments’ and central banks’ grave mistakes. These mistakes suddenly raised questions and brought about debates that eventually helped correct misperceptions about risk, pricing, and gambling.
A World of Chance: Betting on Religion, Games, Wall Street by Reuven Brenner