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My oft-recommended book Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy [1] hammers on this idea of that financing of speculative vs. mundane ventures are fundamentally different games. The author argues that speculative finance is a good thing, as long as it's not just speculating on finance itself. In fact, it's so useful that the government should encourage it. He cites the long-term advancements produced by incredible amounts of public money injected into the defense industry, the space industry, the National Institutes of Health, the NSF, and so forth. But, he argues that such speculation needs to be cordoned off from the mundane economy, so that when bubbles burst, they don't take down the systems everyday people rely on.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/Doing-Capitalism-Innovation-Economy-Sp...

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