Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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What is Finance?

The idea of finance, as explained by this post from The Baseline Scenario (which I’m now subscribed to) is pretty simple:

The financial sector connects savers and borrowers – providing “intermediation services”. You want to save for retirement and would obviously like your savings to earn a respectable rate of return. I have a business idea but not enough money to make it happen by myself. So you put your money in the bank and the bank makes me a loan. Or I issue securities – stocks and bonds – which you or your pension fund can buy.

What happens when you put a lot of money in one place, however, is quite a bit more complex and that’s what the author tries to explain. The more I read this stuff, the more I think we’re bound to swing back to the simplicity of something like peer-to-peer lending.

September 3, 2009