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By Jon Roffe

The industry performs a profoundly major position in modern society; its operations and results have interaction the full variety of human lifestyles from the worldwide to the mundane. whilst, solutions to the query 'what is the market?' are rudimentary at top; the disparity among conception and truth used to be solid in a very stark gentle by way of the worldwide monetary crisis.

Drawing on quite a few resources in contemporary and modern philosophy, finance, the heritage of contemporary arithmetic, sociology and anthropology, Abstract industry Theory elaborates a brand new philosophy of the industry, and thereby offers a method to deal with uncomplicated questions touching on price, fee, capitalism and debt. In doing so it starts to reinvigorate the withered dating among monetary idea and philosophy itself.

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The very category of the CDO is, he argues, ‘degenerative fantasy’ (BSEP 449): Anyone who believes that [these] derivatives can durably trade and prosper in a market that endures by its own necessity has no other ground for such a belief than sheer dogmatic faith. It suffices that he loses the faith for his market to collapse and disappear. This is exactly what happened in the CDO market. (BSEP 175) This passage clearly indicates the two discriminating criteria at issue. The first is that the pricing of CDOs, and thus the existence of CDOs markets, takes place in the radical absence of any kind of knowledge, involving something akin to a leap of faith.

They have proceeded on the basis of the assumption of the secondary status of price with respect to socially situated values – including, we should add, the absolute value of the market itself, as championed by libertarianism or free market idealism. This absolute primordiality of value, though, is precisely what the existence of the market calls into question. If the market exists, the reach of evaluative regimes is shown to have a very precise limit. In fact, the market is at once a realized active nihilism – a machine for the problematization of values – and the stark utopia Polanyi recognised over 60 years ago.

That is, how can we think the nature of price without any recourse to a pre-existent, qualitatively diverse regime of meaning? The theory of price that emerges in response will, consequently, have to conceive of the written mark as prior to representation, but not as entirely foreign to it: for the simple reason that prices can take on value. The doctrine of the primacy of inscription One of the signal elements of the position that Elie Ayache develops in The Blank Swan is the thesis that price is written.

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