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Spanish Fly

9th February 2013

We are off to southern Spain for a week - last year's summer holiday. So profound thoughts from me may be even sparser than usual, depending on the wifi.

In the meantime, read this one about Risk and Money:

To claim that New Deal stability as a whole (as opposed to particular regulatory restrictions) was a hindrance to American vigor is to argue for compulsory assumption of systemic risk. Financial fragility becomes a feature, rather than a bug, not just for financial insiders who get to gamble with other people’s money but for all of us dragged onto the virility-enhancing roller-coaster ride.

We didn’t fall from the garden, after the serpent offered a taste of freedom. We fled. We chose the glittering cacophony of the casino because Eden is bad for us. I suspect that this take will earn a more sympathetic hearing among Wall Streeters than with the rest of us.

... We are left with a difficult question: if we wish to be free in the way that Americans understand freedom, have we no choice but to submit to a faceless, periodically psychotic “economic chance-world”?

I have a feeling that I fundamentally disagree with the starting-point for this piece, so I'll mull it over when I am away.

The core point missing is any sense of how to manage uncertainty. The future is 100% unknown, so 'speculating' on what it might bring and how best to allocate resources over time and link them to human ingenuity is necessarily a risky business. Money is a supremely clever and infinitely flexible way of managing that. By dampening down the way money can be used to avoid 'psychotic' events, you essentially rule out myriad options and reinforce the risks of getting things wrong NOW. Or something.

If all that is too brainy for you, try this.

 

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