The Wisdom of Finance

Full Name
The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return

Today, finance is shrouded in mystery for outsiders, while many insiders are uneasy with the disrepute of their profession. Author Mihir Desai took up the cause of restoring humanity to finance. This book captures his lucid exploration of the ideas of finance as seen through the unusual prism of the humanities. Through this novel, creative approach, Desai shows that outsiders can access the underlying ideas easily and insiders can reacquaint themselves with the core humanity of their profession.

Praise for The Wisdom of Finance

"This is a charming, provocative and readable book. For non-financiers, it can be a great teaching tool; for financiers, it is a badly needed rap on the knuckles, and perhaps an inspiration."

Gillian Tett, Financial Times

"Mihir Desai is a fortunate person: he is an expert economist who is also well-read. In this book, he uses his skills to provide a fascinating new perspectivecon modern finance, showing how the main concepts have parallels in literature and the arts. Students of finance will learn literature, students of literature will learn finance, and everybody will learn something."

Oliver Hart, 2016 Nobel Laureate in Economics

"For those of us who have long believed that the field of finance was more than a way to make a good living, Mihir Desai has written a liberating book. He shows us how an understanding of the humanities can increase our effectiveness as financial practitioners and add a dimension of joy to the process."

Byron Wien, Vice Chairman, Multi-Asset Investments, Blackstone Group

"The Wisdom of Finance is required reading for anyone interested in finance or in pursuing a career in the industry. Mihir eloquently traces the products, practices, and services of our modern financial system to their roots while providing literary context and illustration. It’s a refreshing approach to what can be a turgid topic, and it can provide practitioners with a new appreciation (and understanding) of their role in their companies, the industry, and in the broader economy."

Vikram Pandit, Chairman and CEO of The Orogen Group


"Mihir Desai has written a thoughtful and remarkable book. It takes us not only on a functional journey about the role of finance in society, but also an ethical and social one."

Rakesh Khurana, Dean of Harvard College


"A scholar who is equally at home with art, literature, contemporary culture and financial theory, Mihir Desai improbably brings these worlds together in an absorbing, personal narrative that has much to teach us about how they are deeply connected."

Will Goetzmann, Edwin J. Beinecke Professor of Finance and Management Studies at Yale School of Management