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Financialization

 “We must try to avoid a vicious circle on which tighter liquidity conditions, lower asset values, impaired capital resources, reduced credit supply and slower aggregate demand feedback on each other.”

I read this quote, a beautifully succinct piece of prose in a paper produced by Paul Tucker, Executive Director and Money Policy Committee Member of the Bank of England, for the Institutional Money Market Funds Association Annual Dinner, in April 2008.

I was researching Auction Houses at the time and trying to keep an eye on financial markets. Of course we have not avoided the vicious circle, in fact we seem to be spiraling into a terrible black vortex.

“One hand, one million dollars, no tears.”

Is the McGuffin or plot device that motivates Liar's Poker by Michael Lewis, which I'm reading at the moment. Its an insiders account of the deregulation of the American Mortgage markets in the 1980's and the beginning of the havoc that CDO's and contempt, are visiting upon us now. Liar's Poker was presented in the 1990's as humorous, now it reads as a tragedy; Marx reversed.

Professor Michael Sandel delivered the 2009 Reith lectures. Post burst-bubble he talked brilliantly on the limits of markets, and the reanimation of a public good.

Some time ago I developed a project entitled Capital, and I have a residual interest in financial markets.

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