Moral and Social Impacts of Financialization

Featuring Grant Williams, Simon Mikhailovich, Dan Oliver

Does prolonged misallocation eventually distort the moral and social fiber of political systems? In this third and final installment of their “Exchange” series, Grant Williams, Simon Mikhailovich and Dan Oliver tackle this controversial but compelling topic, drawing on historical anecdotes to make some uncomfortable comparisons with past periods of profligacy and excess. Filmed in on May 8, 2018 in New York.

Published on
20 August, 2018
Recession, Financial System, History
27 minutes


  • SU

    Shakeel U.

    2 11 2018 23:26

    0       0

    Brilliant, Grant Williams asks great questions, 10/10.

  • KC

    Kenneth C.

    18 10 2018 18:21

    0       0

    This 2-parter was very good. I've come back to suggest a different one. Raoul with Lacy Hunt and Jeff Snider on the debt and economic crisis we're headed into.

  • RR

    Robert R.

    29 8 2018 17:49

    1       0

    Superb. More please. A segment, as Grant says, on what we can do would really help. And if you tell me to hold cash, tell me how. I am not going to put it in the banks. Then, it's theirs, not mine.

  • CA

    Craig A.

    29 8 2018 12:56

    0       0

    really good series. Loved the debates and all points were well articulated. Please have more of this type of content

  • JH

    Joel H.

    26 8 2018 00:00

    0       0

    Like the format and the content!

  • CB

    Chris B.

    25 8 2018 21:06

    4       0

    Great content and great format. I really enjoyed the interaction of these three smart guys. Also, I always enjoy Simon’s views based on his history of spending part of his life in the Soviet Union.

  • WM

    Will M.

    24 8 2018 16:08

    2       0

    Great discussion if a bit more philosophical that the previous sessions. Having been around as an adult since the 70s I have personally witnessed the move to a credit / debt based economy. For my first credit card I had to meet with my local bank manager who advised me about the perils of lack of financial control. Nowadays, or at least back in the 2000s, credit cards were handed out like confetti to individuals who should never have been given them, let alone mortgages.... As a young boy and even through my teenage years I deferred to adults and especially the older generation; nowadays many youth have little respect for their parents grandparents or anyone else apart from "media stars". Luckily I got a good education from my grandmother on the depression in the UK in the 30s. My parents never had a lot of money but I was given a good grounding in saving and not spending. People who deny the lessons of history will be caught short and unfortunately will likely vote to take the wealth from others in the name of socialism. Dan's comment about the last resort of going to war is exactly where we are heading. Iran, Syria, Turkey, North Korea and perhaps soon....China. There is plenty of scope for our next US led war. Its coming folks......

  • MT

    Mark T.

    24 8 2018 16:04

    1       0

    You've hardly touched that nice charcuterie spread this whole series!

  • EL

    Edward L.

    24 8 2018 13:57

    2       0

    Thank you so much for a dispassionate discussion which helps to relieve some of the feelings of isolation many of us feel with the increasing amoral populist movement which stresses the "I" over the "We" and immediate gratification over dedication to delay for the common good.
    Also, did you ever finish eating the food?

  • TL

    Tom L.

    23 8 2018 20:31

    2       0

    I'm only half way through and it's been a great read. But I feel as though the banks are taking all the blame for this. I'm not saying the banks are innocent because it's clear they're not but what about the individual person having accountability? No one will take the wheel of their own life and they rely on someone else and when that doesn't work out for them which appears to be 100% of the time, they put all the blame on banks and they want to be bailed out.

  • PW

    Peter W.

    22 8 2018 08:15

    7       0

    I am so pleased that RealVision dropped to a sensible price, and I can now afford commentary and analysis of this quality and level of insight. Please keep it coming.

  • Sv

    Sid v.

    21 8 2018 20:25

    1       0

    History rhymes. excellent piece. No real investment advice, but still a great series.

  • SS

    Steven S.

    21 8 2018 20:06

    1       0

    you are nothing more then a Capuchin Monkey in a grand Federal Reserve experiment........and we are in 'BEGINNING' of the late stages of the experiment.....
    Two Monkeys Were Paid Unequally: Excerpt from Frans de Waal's TED Talk

  • BC

    Brente C.

    21 8 2018 15:21

    3       0

    This was one of my favorite Real Vision segments because it incorporated human nature and societal impacts into the larger economic discussion. They are all related. Particularly, the detrimental impact of a society which does not have the incentive or capacity to save (delay consumption now for a better benefit later) is one that becomes engulfed in a debt trap that leads to damaging political extremism and war.

  • GO

    Gary O.

    21 8 2018 04:11

    2       0

    Great conversation. Nobody learns from history except these guys. Don't worry, it will be different this time!!

  • NI

    Nate I.

    21 8 2018 03:56

    3       0

    The student debt binge is particularly troubling in the context of the proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. If we were to forgive one debt at taxpayer expense, that might be the one, provided of course that post-jubilee, student loans would no longer enjoy taxpayer underwriting. Sanity would be restored to higher education and tuition would drop overnight to formerly sensible levels.

  • DR

    Dick R.

    21 8 2018 03:15

    3       18

    This conversation was a disaster......It was so completely wrapped up in gauzy platitudes, false comparisons and ineffective conclusions. It completely sabotaged any wisdom expressed in the first two videos......Specifically, the fatuous binary opposition of capitalism and communism, as if there were nothing in between and nothing one can learn from the other was a complete wipeout......Innovation will feed starving families? On what planet? They have a habit of dying in place before Tang gets invented.....This is the type of cliche-mongering that stops thought, not starts it......If rich people had any particular expertise in morality, Jesus wouldn't have been so rude about them.....And the next time you tape fatcats opining on the "little people," clear the food service away so we don't wind up staring at their groaning table.

  • RH

    Rick H.

    21 8 2018 02:47

    3       0

    Thank you for delivering this variety of content

  • DS

    David S.

    21 8 2018 00:49

    3       0

    The best way to prepare for the future is to establish moral norms through laws and personal responsibility that are enforced. I am afraid this is just not going to happen without big brother. Our first instinct is to rationalize our current prejudices and stop thinking. We refuse to look at other’s points of view. We promote what we think – often wrongly - is in our personal self-interest and damn the consequences to others. I hope the rest of you are more optimistic than I am. DLS

  • PD

    Peter D.

    21 8 2018 00:21

    4       0

    Morals? Where have I heard that word before?
    (Reaches for dictionary....)...

  • DS

    David S.

    20 8 2018 23:44

    5       0

    Mr. Mikhailovich it is morality that breaks down first not finance; everything else easily follows. Grant's comment on consequences has always been key. If a robber knows that he will be caught, he will probably not rob. The world has always lived with men/women without shame, but the percentage today is past the critical point for society to function. DLS

  • PG

    Philippe G.

    20 8 2018 23:14

    1       0


  • CC

    Charles C.

    20 8 2018 22:56

    1       0

    fantastic series with great historical background. This plays to my biases but the concerns are very real.

  • JG

    Jory G.

    20 8 2018 20:08

    2       0

    Very good discussion. Situational ethics along with political polling are curses upon any nation. That combined with the self deception of many leaders that they know best how to manage our lives will no doubt have some unpleasant consequences whether they believe so or not.

  • CB

    C B.

    20 8 2018 19:53

    0       0

    Where's the trade on Google? Just kidding, just kidding! Interesting conversation. I have been thinking a lot recently about morality as it is related to investing. I have thought that perhaps using my moralistic framework to think about how the future may play out is actually an inhibitor to accurately predicting the future and positioning correctly. The discussion around repercussions therefore is especially helpful. Perhaps penalties for bad behavior like loss of capital or jail will return and thereby reward prudent actors. On the other hand, a descent into some dystopian future where extractive, scam business models dominate can not be assigned a probability of zero. Thank you for the dialogue!

  • MT

    Morgan T.

    20 8 2018 18:57

    19       1

    3 episodes later...if you're not gonna eat that antipasti send it my way will you?

    Love the format btw!

  • KJ

    Kelly J.

    20 8 2018 18:42

    8       0

    Great, to the point, discussion of what's going on in the big picture! Dan Oliver's view that innovation can solve the planet's Maltusian resource problems of exponential population growth and an economic system utterly dependent on exponential growth is a comforting fantasy, but IMO very much wistful thinking for the coming years as population arcs past the current 7.4 toward 9 billion. As it has remarkably to date, innovation will continue to mitigate some resource issues (agriculture, shale energy extraction, etc.) but is already being overwhelmed, just as it's likely that our governance and incentive systems, whether free market capitalist, socialist, etc. all tend to devolve toward concentration of wealth and power, stagnation and corruption, and then be overwhelmed and tossed aside as they fail to serve the "masses".

    We're going to need to evolve completely new economic/political/organizational systems, maybe from some hybrid of the old, if civilization is going to evolve. Given the utter failure of our current system to intelligently acknowledge and address issues like the corrupt, ponzi-finance playground breeding inequality, oil depletion, energy resource transition, water depletion, climate change disruption to food production and the global supply chain, etc. I expect major social disruption, conflict and loss of life to be a big part of the story of how population pressure is resolved in coming decades. As you discuss, corruption leads to disorganization and destruction at a social level, and that seems tough to avoid now.

  • my

    markettaker y.

    20 8 2018 17:48

    2       0

    Preach! Love this stuff. You'll all be vindicated, no matter what the Mark Dows of the world say.

  • IF

    Ian F.

    20 8 2018 17:17

    7       0

    Damn fine looking cheese board.

  • OS

    Oliver S.

    20 8 2018 16:54

    3       0

    A really interesting collection of viewpoints. Great stuff.

  • M

    Mark .

    20 8 2018 15:19

    6       0

    I can not exaggerate how greatful I am for Real Vision. I'd go nuts without it.

  • EF

    Erik F.

    20 8 2018 13:57

    2       0

    The last segment labeled "Turning Points" reminds me of Taleb's book "Skin in the Game"

  • CC

    Christopher C.

    20 8 2018 13:31

    4       0

    Hmmmm From Marx's letter to Kugelmann. "Joking aside, great progress was evident in the last Congress of the American "Labour Union" in that among other things, it treated working women with complete equality. While in this respect the English, and still more the gallant French, are burdened with a spirit of narrow-mindedness. Anybody who knows anything of history knows that great social changes are impossible without the feminine ferment. Social progress can be measured exactly by the social position of the fair sex (the ugly ones included)." To the last point... Perhaps we have arrived?

  • AL

    Andrew L.

    20 8 2018 12:27

    18       0

    I would recommend the Grant Williams In Conversation 2 part conversation with Anthony Deden. The perspective of inter-generational wealth preservation. It has had a big impact on the way I think about my finances and as a new father it has really changed how I think about what I want to do with money. I want to teach my children values, I want to teach them to teach their own children and I want to build something that I can hand down to them which they can continue to build up and hand on to their children as well. This is an antithetical perspective today.

  • MM

    Mike M.

    20 8 2018 12:21

    9       0

    Very good. The 99% are only interested in Fantasy football and where they are going to eat next weekend. We have a generation 18/30 who have no idea what an interest rate is. Debt has become the new standard of prosperity. We have become a nation of tax donkeys and debt slaves. As you note this is not going to end well. It is no longer a question of direction but rather when?

  • V!

    Volatimothy !.

    20 8 2018 12:16

    3       0

    Owners of capital will stimulate working class to buy more and more of expensive goods, houses and technology, pushing them to take more and more expensive credits, until their debt becomes unbearable. The unpaid debt will lead to bankruptcy of banks which will have to be nationalized and State will have to take the road which will eventually lead to communism. Karl Marx

  • CR

    Cristian R.

    20 8 2018 09:27

    13       0

    My three favourite gold bugs.