Pro football: A model for capitalism?

  @FortuneMagazine April 7, 2013: 10:09 AM ET
EAS18 football money

Roger L. Martin's love affair with capitalism is a tarnished one, like that of a lot of economic thinkers these days. Hair-raising booms and busts chip away at any faith that the free market is self-correcting. Growing wage inequality -- compounded by stagnant middle incomes -- erodes the tenet that a rising tide lifts all boats.

Martin, an influential and prolific thinker who is dean of the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, believes the way to "fix" capitalism is to change the way markets are regulated. No, he's not arguing for more rules. In fact, he's a harsh critic of Sarbanes-Oxley and its offspring, the 848-page Dodd-Frank. He thinks both laws are expensive overreactions to financial crises and solve little by trying to solve all.

Instead, Martin, who specializes in "integrative thinking" -- essentially a holistic approach to working through business problems -- wants our regulators to take a page from the National Football League. That's right, the association that oversees America's favorite big-dollar, helmet-smashing pastime.

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