Ten Principles for Recapitalizing Capitalism

By Emanuel Derman
November 22, 2011
  1. Everyone is a grownup and no one is more grown up than anyone else.
  2. Your words are as valuable as money.
  3. A few things are illegal; the rest is up to you.
  4. If you want the benefits of taking risk, you must also suffer the disadvantages.
  5. Printing or throwing money cannot solve political or spiritual problems. It can only postpone them.
  6. Don’t treat only some people’s insolvency as illiquidity.
  7. Optimization in human affairs is an illusion. You always need more capital than you think.
  8. Corporations are neither governments nor people.
  9. Provide golden parachutes for no one; provide tin parachutes for everyone.
  10. “If you believe that capitalism is a system in which money matters more than freedom, you are doomed when people who don’t believe in freedom attack using money.”*

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* Quote courtesy of Edward Lucas’ book The New Cold War: Putin’s Russia and the Threat to the West.

3 comments

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Clearly, #1 is counterfactual!!—GGD

Posted by DEdwards | Report as abusive

Dr. Derman:
Thanks for the principles and for your books which I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Posted by Pipon | Report as abusive

DEwards:They’re principles, not facts. Principles are things you have to pretend are true so that maybe they eventually will be so.

Posted by EmanuelDerman | Report as abusive