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MentorBox Podcast


Jun 14, 2018

“If you look for the patterns in life, you can actually navigate a lot of risk and uncertainty.” - Mihir Desai

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We don’t like Wall Street.

Financial institutions are heavily stigmatized in today’s world. Movies like The Wolf of Wall Street and current events like the financial crisis of 2008 leave us distrusting the economic powers that run our world. While this may feel like the appropriate response, that distrust fuels ignorance, as we reject the institutions on principle and don’t try to find the deeper truth and connection behind them.

On today’s episode of The MentorBox Podcast, we are joined by Mihir Desai. Mihir is a professor at both Harvard Law and Harvard Business School, where he researches taxation and tax law. His writing and his presence have been featured on Bloomberg News, The New York Times, NPR, and much more. His recent book, The Wisdom of Finance: Discovering Humanity in the World of Risk and Return, aims to reconcile the American public and those who work in the financial sector. In this discussion, Mihir sheds light on the human principles of finance by tying humanities with economics. Tune in to this discussion to learn how financial and economic principles are synonymous with what it means to be human.

You order Mihir’s The Wisdom of Finance here

“The consequence of demonizing finance is that young people are not exposed to it and do not learn nearly enough about it.” - Mihir Desai

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Points to Keep In Mind

  • Ambivalence towards finance dates back to ancient Greece
  • Distrust for the institutions and markets actually hurts those who we think we’re helping
  • The consequence of demonizing finance is that young people reject it
  • Risk is unpredictability and chaos
  • The way you navigate risk is by looking for the patterns
  • The fundamental human condition is dealing with a totally random world
  • Study the creditor-debtor relationship to understand the core of human behavior
  • Read The Merchant of Venice to understand how finance is about love and commitment
  • The divide between humanities and finance causes a great loss in society