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Guest Lecture: Prof John Kay - Other people's money: Masters of the Universe or Servants of the People

Page updated Mar 04, 2016

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Presentation material for John Kay's lecture presented at Old Government Building, Victoria University on 10 February 2016.

We all depend on the finance sector. We need it to store money, manage payments, finance housing, restore infrastructure, fund retirement and support new business. But these roles comprise only a tiny sliver of the sector's activity: the vast majority of lending is within the finance sector. So what is it all for? What is the purpose of this activity? And why is it so profitable?

Professor John Kay, OBE is visiting New Zealand following publication in late 2015 of his new book Other People's Money. The financial sector, he shows, has grown too large, detached itself from ordinary business and everyday life, and has become an industry that mostly trades with itself, talks to itself, and judges itself by reference to standards which it has itself generated. And the outside world has itself adopted those standards, bailing out financial institutions that have failed all of us through greed and mismanagement.

About John Kay

John Kay is one of Britain's leading economists. His interests focus on the relationships between economics and business.  His career has spanned academic work and think tanks, business schools, company directorships, consultancies and investment companies.

John Kay chaired the 2012 Review of UK Equity Markets and Long-Term Decision- Making. He is a visiting Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, a Fellow of St John's College, Oxford. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He is a director of several public companies and contributes a weekly column to the Financial Times. He is the author of many books, including The Truth about Markets (2003) and The Long and the Short of It: finance and investment for normally intelligent people who are not in the industry (2009), Obliquity (2011) and his latest, Other People's Money (September 2015).

Note: Papers, presentation slides and any other material provided by the Guest Lecturer will be made available some time after the lecture at Publications > Media & Speeches > Guest Lectures by Visiting Academics.