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AN ECONOMIC WONDERLAND: DERIVATIVE CASTLES BUILT ON SAND

By       Message Jon Cloke       (Page 2 of 13 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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opednews.com Headlined to H4 12/20/09

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(3) the co-opting of the concept and analysis of fair value by the big accountancy firms and banks, through which financial derivatives were valued.

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It will be the suggestion of this article that the development of an enculturated, fundamentalist, market-orientated economic discourse since the 1970s has acted as a stalking-horse for the development of new, powerful, unrestricted and unregulated markets in the financial services sector, a stalking-horse which is by its very character anti-democratic. Thus far nothing particularly new except that, with the development of financial derivatives and CDOs, such is the power of this supremacist ideology that a massive global market has developed in products which are essentially imaginary.

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Whether we're talking about democracy underpinned by law or constitutional framework, the liberal democracies of Western Europe or the constitutional democracy of the USA, democracies work on the basis of the refreshing and realistic precept of the inevitability of human frailty all power corrupts and democracy is the politics-made-flesh of that acceptance. There can be no end-state to democracy, it is and will always be a process undergoing continual fracture, revision and change. To paraphrase the quote about art often attributed to Mussorgsky, any given form of democracy is not an end in itself, but a means of addressing humanity; it is a process whose development is characterised by endless subversion, thwarted and side-stepped by constant attempts from within and without to turn its frail authority into forms of power to be used against it.

Democracy by its very nature both hosts and is vulnerable to a limitless range of counter-narratives, ranging from tiny political movements to global meta-narratives which, in being given freedom to thrive, may at any time metastasise into the illness that kills the host. Ideological fundamentalists of whatever kind (Christian, Islamic, nationalist/populist or left/populist, for instance) whose core beliefs may allow them to use democratic mechanisms to achieve power within a given democratic type, may then use those same mechanisms to restrict or even close down democratic practices as being inimitable with contradictory core beliefs.

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Jon Cloke is a research associate with the Globalization and World Cities Network and also Project Officer for an alternative energy network, EnergyCentral, devoted to the promotion of alternative energy links between and within Europe and Central (more...)
 

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AN ECONOMIC WONDERLAND: DERIVATIVE CASTLES BUILT ON SAND