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Like Shakespeare's Shylock, market speculators and "junk bond" dealers are criticized as manipulators of money who create no real value. But is this true? Or do financiers perform a valuable function in the economy? In this essay, Stephen Hicks challenges the conventional view of financiers and financial markets--that those who work in them are zero-sum parasites upon the physical labor and that they make merely "paper profits." In contrast to the conventional view, Hicks explains the great value that financial markets add to an economy and the nature of the intellectual work that underlays them.
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Stephen Hicks, Ph.D., is Professor of Philosophy and Executive Director of the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship at Rockford College, Illinois. He has been a visiting professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and a visiting scholar at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center in Bowling Green, Ohio. He is the author of Explaining Postmodernism: Skepticism and Socialism from Rousseau to Foucault (Scholargy, 2004), The Art of Reasoning: Readings for Logical Analysis (2nd edition, W. W. Norton & Co., 1998), a DVD documentary entitled Nietzsche and the Nazis (2006), and articles in academic journals such as The Review of Metaphysics and other publications such as The Wall Street Journal. He can also be reached through his website at StephenHicks.org.
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