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Reuven Brenner

Taking a Gamble on Illegal Betting

Sun, 2013-09-15 18:04

As the English Premier League season starts, punters play the odds despite the country's ban on wagers - and millions are taking the risk.

Source Site: /desautels

What Does a 'Two-State Solution' Mean?

Fri, 2013-09-13 18:36

In light of what is going on the Middle East, and the efforts of US Secretary of State John Kerry to restart negotiations to reach a ''two-state'' solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, it is worth briefly summarizing solutions I write about 30 years ago.
The efforts of the United States and Europe to bring about a "two-state" solution in the Middle East are incomprehensible.

-Article by Reuven Brenner

Read full article: Asia Times, September 5, 2013

Source Site: /desautels

The Paradox of Patent Assertion Entities

Wed, 2013-08-14 09:50

In March 2011, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released The Evolving IP Marketplace: Aligning Patent Notice and Remedies with Competition, its antitrust policy review of the patent marketplace in which it unveiled the term “patent assertion entities” (PAEs) as a substitute for the derisive term “patent trolls.”

Source Site: /desautels

Dobrobyt zależy od stopnia odpowiedzialności rządu przed obywatelami

Thu, 2013-07-25 09:49

Głosować na prawicę, czy lewicę? To prawie bez znaczenia, gdy wyborcy szybko mogą rozliczyć polityków. Dobrobyt nie zależy od wyniku wyborów, ale od tego, czy funkcjonują mechanizmy egzekwowania odpowiedzialności rządzących przed obywatelami i czy ludzie z pomysłami mają dostęp do kapitału – uważa prof. Reuven Brenner.

Read full article (in Polish): Obserwatorfinansowy.pl, July 22, 2013

Source Site: /desautels

Restoring a Real Middle Class

Fri, 2013-08-02 10:45

In an interview last week, President Barack Obama correctly emphasized both that "upside mobility was part and parcel of who we were as Americans" and also that such mobility has been "eroding over the last 20, 30 years, well before the financial crisis". The question is: What can Washington do to remedy the situation?

-Article by Reuven Brenner

Source Site: /desautels

Episode 11 with Reuven Brenner - The Force of Finance

Tue, 2013-06-04 10:13

Reuven Brenner holds the REPAP Chair in Economics at McGill University’s Faculty of Management. He has written numerous books, including The Force of Finance: Triumph of the Capital Markets (2002).

Part 11 of a video series produced by the Montreal Economic Institute: www.iedm.org.

Watch full interview: Frontier Centre for Public Policy

Source Site: /desautels

Reuven Brenner

Professor, Finance

PhD, Economics, Hebrew University, Israel
MA, Economics, Hebrew University, Israel
BSc, Mathematics/Economics, Hebrew University, Israel

+1 514 398 7327
Email Address: 
reuven [dot] brenner [at] mcgill [dot] ca
Alternate Email Address: 
linda [dot] foster [at] mcgill [dot] ca

Bronfman Building, [Map]
1001 rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montreal, Quebec
H3A 1G5


Dr. Reuven Brenner was appointed to the McGill Faculty of Management REPAP Chair in Economics in 1991. Before joining McGill, he was Professor at Université de Montréal and Associate Fellow of the Centre de recherche et développement en économique, lectured at the University of Chicago, New York University and the Hebrew University. He was also associated for seven years with DUXX, Monterrey, Mexico. Brenner was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, was awarded the Canada Council's prestigious Killam Fellowship Award in 1991, and is member of the Royal Society. The book - Masters and Mavericks of Modern Economics - dedicated a chapter to his works. Forbes Global, August 1998, dedicated the cover article, titled "Leapfrogging," to his books and endeavours. In February 2013, he has been awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to his peers, his community, and to Canada.

Dr. Brenner has taught courses in Microeconomics and Applied Microeconomics, Monetary Theory, Industrial Organization and Topics in International and Corporate Finance. In the Faculty, he currently teaches courses on topics in International and Corporate Finance in both the undergrad and MBA programs. He has been the recipient of various teaching awards over the years.

Risk-taking, creating wealth (by companies) and prosperity (by countries) have been among Dr. Brenner's research interests. He is the author of eight books: History-The Human Gamble (University of Chicago Press, 1983), Betting on Ideas: Wars, Invention, Inflation (University of Chicago, 1985), Rivalry: in Business, Science, Among Nations (Cambridge University Press, 1987), Gambling and Speculation (Cambridge University Press, 1990), Educating Economists (University of Michigan Press,1992, with David Colander), Labyrinths of Prosperity (University of Michigan Press, 1994), A Financial Century (Stoddart: 2001), which came out later in the US under the title The Force of Finance (Thomson/Texere) in 2002. His 8th book, A World of Chance: Betting on Religion, Games, Wall Street (Cambridge University Press) came out in 2008.

Rivalry and Betting on Ideas were chosen to be among the outstanding academic books published in the US (Choice, June 1989 and May 1987) and, as noted above, his books were also the subject of a cover article in Forbes, London Literary Times, among others. In addition to specialized academic journals in economics, history, political science, finance, his books were reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, London Times, Smart Money, Boston Globe, New York Times. There have been a number of TV and radio programs broadcasted in both the US and Canada dedicated to his work alone. Brenner has been a regular contributor to publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, Forbes, The Financial Post, Asia Times, Strait Times (Singapore), Figaro (Paris) and others.  Brenner has also been keynote speaker at conferences around the world. He is Fluent in English, French, Hebrew, Hungarian.

Over the years he also worked among others with Bank of America, Knowledge Universe, EEN, Bell Canada, Repap Enterprises, WEFA, Heenan Blaikie and with investors in Canada, Mexico, the US and Europe. He has been involved in the private equity markets as partner in Match Strategic Partners, has been associated with “angel groups” investing in start-ups across Canada, and also created his own start-up, "e-mortal.com," sold in 2008. He has also been serving on boards of companies and institutions; among others he serves now on McGill University’s Pension Fund’s Board and its Investment Committee.   

Curriculum Vitae: 
Selected Publications : 

Papers in Peer-Reviewed Journals

The only articles in peer-reviewed journals by Mr. Brenner listed below are those that have not yet been included in his own books in revised, updated versions. This prevents duplication and reference to preliminary, inferior versions, even if published in refereed journals.

Book Review:” Brenner on Landes, D., Baumol, W., Mokyr, J., The Invention of Enterprise,” Economic History Review, May 2010

"Venture Capital in Canada" (with G.A. Brenner), Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Winter 2010, 86-98.

"Mark-to-Market and Bank Recapitalization," Quantum, June 2009“Exploring the Role of Risk Manager: Ask the Experts,” GARP, March/April 2007, pp. 11-22.

"The US Dollar: Accidents Waiting to Happen," Cato Journal, volume 26, No. 2 (Spring/Summer 2006), 317-31,

“Valuations, Monetary Policy and “Irrational Exuberance,””Journal of Applied Corporate Finance,  Summer 2000.

“Book review: Paul Krugman’s, Return of Depression Economics,” The International Economy, July/August 1999

"Capital Markets and Democracy," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Winter 1999, Vol 11, no.4: 66-75. (Reprinted in the Proceedings of Mont Pelerin Society 50 Years, Washington DC, 1998).

"What Causes Economic Growth," Washington: Cato Policy Report, Lead Article, May/June 1998: 1-12.

"Why Global Recession Looms," Jobs and Capital, Lead Article, Los Angeles: Milken Institute, Spring 1999: 1-9

"Taxed to Death," Jobs and Capital, A Global Survey, Los Angeles: Milken Institute, Winter, 1998: 24-8.

"Book review: Putting Consumers First: Reforming the Canadian Financial Services Industry,” by J. M. Mintz and James E. Pesando, Toronto: C.D. Howe institute, 1996," in  Canadian Public Policy/ Analyse de Politiques, vol. 24, 1998

"Quebec and Canada: in the Locks of a Financial Embrace," Choix, Institute for Research on Public Policy, Vol. 1, no. 8, May 1995.

"IPE Symposium Assessing the Outcome of the Quebec Referendum," International Political Economy, Volume 2, number 20, November 1995.

"Referenda and Initiatives: the Cure for Democracy's Spending Problem," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, 1994, volume 7, no. 2: 108-16.

"An Overlooked Explanation of the Declining Saving Rate," Empirical Economics, (with M. Dagenais and C. Montmarquette), vol.19, 1994: 629-34.

"Entrepreneurship in the New Commonwealth," Executive Forum, Journal of Business Venturing, vol. 7, no. 6, November 1992: 431-40.

"Dealing with Creativity, but Avoiding Disciplinary Metaphors: a Response to Rubenson and Runco," New Ideas in Psychology, vol 10, no. 2, 1992: 149-55.

"Extracting Sunbeams Out of Cucumbers: or, What Is Bad Social Science and Why Is It Practised," Queen's Quarterly, vol. 99, Fall 1991: 519-53.

"Why Is Opera More Exciting in Post-Communist Societies?," Queen's Quarterly, vol. 99, Winter 1991: 1011-6.

"From Envy and Distrust to Trust and Ambition," Rivista di Politica Economica, vol. LXXXI, serie 3, June, 1991: 31-59. (in English and Italian).

"Pays de l'Est: d'abord les reformes legales, ensuite les politiques monetaires et macroeconomiques,"  Journal des Economistes et des Etudes Humaines: Bilingual Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies, vol. 1, no. 3, October, 1990: 253-77.

"The Long Road from Serfdom and How to Shorten It," Canadian Business Law Journal, vol. 17, no. 2, December 1990: 195-226. 

"Les innovations et la loi sur la concurrence". Actualité économique, vol.65, no.1, Mars 1989: 146-63 (with G. Brenner).

"National Policy and Entrepreneurship: The Statesman's Dilemma", Journal of Business Venturing, Executive Forum, 1987.

"La nouvelle loi de la concurrence: une vision irréaliste de la compétition?", Revue internationale de gestion, 1986 (with G. Brenner).

"Robert Frank: Choosing the Right Pond", Book Review, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, vol 7, 1986: 334-6.

"Herbert/Link - The Entrepreneur", Book Review, History of Political Economy, 1983.

"Inflation and the Liquidity of Indexed Bonds", Bank of Israel Economic Review, no. 44, Jerusalem, November 1976 (with S. Bronfeld): 1-28 (the Hebrew translation appeared in same journal, same volume, May 1976: 1-23)

Books and Edited Volumes

A World of Chance: Betting on Religion, Games, Wall Street, (with Gabrielle A. Brenner and Aaron Brown), Cambridge University Press, August 2008).

The Force of Finance, New York and London: Texere, 2002. (US edition of Financial Century, Toronto: Stoddart, 2001).

Labyrinths of Prosperity: Economic Follies, Democratic Remedies, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994.

Educating Economists, Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press, 1992, (D. Colander, coeditor).

Gambling and Speculation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990. Revised French translation under the title Les Jeux et la Speculation: l'Histoire de l'Homme a Travers les Jeux, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France (PUF), 1993. (with G. A. Brenner).

Rivalry: in Business, Science, Among Nations, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987. Paperback edition 1990.

Betting on Ideas: Wars, Invention, Inflation, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985. Paperback edition 1989.

History - The Human Gamble, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1983; Spanish Edition under the title La Historia, Albur del Hombre, published by Fondo de Cultura Economica, Mexico - Spain, Fall 1989.

Chapters in Books

To prevent duplication and reference to chapters that came out later in revised form, the only chapters in books listed below are those that have not been later integrated in Brenner’s books as of September 2013:

“Unlocking Canadian Capital,” and “Capital Gains Taxes in Context,” in H. Grubel (ed.) The Case for Capital Gains Tax Reform, Vancouver: The Fraser Institute, 2000: 79-105, 223-9. 

"Sciences of Political Lies," in P. Boettke and M. Rizzo (eds.), Essays in Honour of Israel Kirzner, Greenwich: JAI Press, 1995: 363-87.

"The Road from Serfdom: Entrepreneurship and Property Rights Before, During and After Communism," in I. Kirzner and M. Rizzo (eds.), Advances in Austrian Economics, New York : JAI Press, 1994: 145-74.

"From Envy and Distrust to Trust and Ambition," in M. Baldassari and R. Mundell, Building the New Europe, London: St. Martin's Press, 1993: 33-59.

"The Long Road from Serfdom, and How to Shorten It," Chapter 5 in in M. Maruyama (ed.), Management Reform in Eastern and Central Europe, Aldershot: Dartmouth, 1993: 81-109.

"Comment: An Alternative View of Growth," in B. Zycher and L.C. Solmon  (eds.) Economic Policy, Financial Markets and Economic Growth, Los Angeles: MICJF, 1993: 53-73.

"Canadian Choices" in R. Boadway, T. Courchene and D. Purvis (eds.)  Economic Dimensions of Constitutional Change, Kingston: John Deutsch Institute, 1991: 117-48.

"Legal Reforms in the Eastern Bloc: a Precondition to Monetary and Fiscal Policies," in E.M. Claassen (ed.) Exchange Rate Policies of the Less Developed Market and Socialist Economies, San Francisco: International Center for Economic Growth, 151-74 (Spanish translation Panama: International Center for Economic Growth) 1991.

"Debts, Deficits and the Government's Expenditures: Theories, Facts and Artifacts," in M. Baldassari and R. Mundell (eds.), Debts, Deficits and Economic Performance, Rome: St. Martin's Press, 1991.

"Les choix du Quebec," in Les avis des specialistes invites a repondre aux huit questions posees par la Commission, Assemblee Nationale: Documents Parlementaires, 1991: 119-56.

"Inventions et Innovations dans le monde des affaires et des Sciences," in C. MacDonald (ed.) L'invention," Montreal: Presses de L'Universite de Montreal, 1991: 51-79.

"Innovations and Anti-trust", in Perspectives in Industrial Economics, edited by H. Schenk et al., Boston: Kluwer-Nijhoff, 1990: 235-61.

"Market Power:  Innovations and Anti-trust", Chapter 7 in Economic Competition and the Law, edited by  M. Trebilcock et. al., Vancouver:  The Fraser Institute: 1990: 179-216.

"Innovation and the Competition Act", in Reaction: The New Combines Investigation Act, edited by W. Block, Vancouver: Fraser Institute, 1986 (with G. Brenner).

"Industrial Strategy: Inferring What It Really Is", in Economics of Industrial Policy and Strategy, edited by D.G. McFetridge, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1986 (with L. Courville).

"State-owned Enterprises: Another Viewpoint", in Government Enterprise: Roles and Rationale, Economic Council of Canada, 1984.

"Il Caso di Israele", in Indicizzasione, Biblioteca della Liberta, vol 18, n.82/83, 1983 (an Italian translation of the 1976 article with D. Patinkin): 311-27.

"Indexation in Israel", in Inflation Theory and Anti-Inflation Policy, edited by E. Lindberg, London: MacMillan, 1977 (with D.Patinkin): 387-416.

Awards, Honours, and Fellowships: 


2013: In February 2013, he has been awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his contributions to his peers, his community, and to Canada.

1998: Forbes columnists (June 1998) choose two of Brenner's books, Rivalry and History - the Human Gamble as books that influenced them most.

1998: Forbes Global, 8 August 1998, features Brenner in cover story (review of his books and interview).

1997: Honorary Member of Golden Key National Honour Society.

1997: Award by the Organizing Committee of Les Jeux du Commerce 1997 (for outstanding contribution to coaching in oral debate).

1991-1993: Killam Fellowship Award.

1989: The book Rivalry was chosen to be among the Outstanding Academic Books published in the U.S. (Choice, June 1989).

1987: The book, Betting on Ideas was chosen to be among the Outstanding Academic Books published in the U.S. (Choice, May 1987).

1976: First prize in a competition organized by the Union of Banks in Israel (for the publication in the Bank of Israel Economic Review (with S. Bronfeld).

1976: Fulbright Fellowship Award.


1999: Fellow, Royal Society, Canada.


1990-1992: Grant from Loto-Quebec.

1982-1989: Research Grants from either Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the FCAR, Canada Council, Dobson Foundation.

1986-1987: Grants from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and Business School, New York University.

1980-1981: Grant from the Memorial Foundation, New York, U.S.A.

1977: Fulbright Grant for post-doctoral studies.

Classified as

Must All Patents Last for 20 Years?

Fri, 2013-04-26 10:07

Patent controversies continue to roil the business world. In March, a federal judge slashed by nearly half the $1.05 billion in damages awarded Apple last year in its patent-infringement suit against Samsung. On April 1, India's Supreme Court denied Novartis AG's request, after a seven-year legal battle, to gain patent protection for an updated version of its blockbuster leukemia drug Gleevac. And on April 15, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, challenging Myriad's claim to patent a naturally occurring gene.

Source Site: /desautels

The Case for a Three Year College Degree

Thu, 2013-04-04 15:17

Reducing the time it takes for a student to complete college could add trillions of dollars in wealth to the U.S. economy. Changes in the labor market and educational institutions mean that now is the perfect time to alter the required time to attain a college degree, says Reuven Brenner, the Repap Chair at McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management.

Read full article: National Center for Policy Analysis, March 28, 2013

Source Site: /desautels

Faster Learning, Route to Wealth

Thu, 2013-04-04 14:56

If students could complete their education a year faster, the many benefits would include increased personal wealth, decreased government spending, and more sustainable entitlement programs.

Source Site: /desautels

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