The Top Achievements, Challenges, and Failures of Finance

19 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2001

See all articles by Ivo Welch

Ivo Welch

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: November 2001


Having seen one too many David Letterman show, I decided that it was time for me to put together my own list for the best accomplishments of my discipline, Finance. There is much subjectivity in my particular selection of subjects. Still, I would guess that most finance professors would agree that most of my final choices below represent important progress in the development of finance. Alas, I would expect none to agree with my specific rankings. Thus, my hope is that the list below is of interest to many practitioners and academics.

I then went overboard and decided that it would also be useful to put on paper what I consider to be the most important challenges of Finance to work on, as well as some failures. Necessarily, the target audience here is primarily academic researchers, not practitioners. And, naturally, however subjective the list of accomplishments, the list of challenges and failures is ten times more debatable. But, if this list manages to direct the attention of one talented PhD student towards these research issues, writing it up would have been a worthwhile exercise.

Suggested Citation

Welch, Ivo, The Top Achievements, Challenges, and Failures of Finance (November 2001). Available at SSRN: or

Ivo Welch (Contact Author)

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