The complex and controversial nature of financial innovation

October 24, 2011

For some time now Fabian Muniesa and a long list of researchers at the Ecole des Mines have been busy inquiring into how to make innovation (financial innovation) more responsible to those affected by it. From their website:

In today’s world, innovation gets more and more complex, develops at a very fast pace and generates unforeseen, sometimes problematic consequences. There are multiple but often dissonant ways in which the value of innovation can be accounted for. We defend the view that, today, innovating means coping with innovation’s unforeseen externalities, and that the value of innovation is a complex, controversial and, above all, collective issue.

Fabian told me about this project over cafe aux lait in one of my more memorable trips to Paris. And it seems to me that the project holds real promise (the group is holding a conference in Paris on November 30th). Nevertheless, I also wonder how big a role would responsible innovation play in a throughout overhaul of the financial system. Would responsible financial innovation address asset price bubbles?

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