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Changes have been constant, fast and contagious as between markets, operators and institutions. This chapter describes the most important of the innovations which lay behind some of these changes. It considers the nature of innovation and the wider implications of different kinds of innovation for the economy and society. To explain what derivatives are and how they came to occupy so central a place in the international financial system, the chapter presents a little historical background. Two innovations that are less important than derivatives but nonetheless interesting for both the factors giving rise to them and the consequences that followed are leveraged buyouts and junk bonds. The chapter concludes with some comments on the consequences, social and political as well as economic, of innovations.

Mad Money

With an introduction by Benjamin J. Cohen


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