The social end of finance, according to economists, is to make sure society’s money is going to the most worthy projects. In technical terms, to equalize the risk-adjusted return on capital across projects.
(Of course, if “worthy” is measured solely in pecuniary return, then much is missed. That’s why economists want externalities to be priced into the market.We hope to make The Good = The Profitable.)
Investors allocate their savings to projects. If the project gets funded, it gets done. And there are a lot of things that need to get done.
- stringing up power lines
- removing waste from houses
- shipping things across oceans, deserts, through jungles, up mountains, and sometimes into outer space
- describing what products are
- stocking snack machines
- putting things where they should go in stores
- complying with the law
- inspiring people
- printing books
- pouring ingots
- cutting machine tools
- researching new pharmaceuticals