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1 Bob Dillon  Thu, Aug 2, 2012 1:25:09am

Gee ... I thot I heard a horn blowing. Oh sh*t - I'm standing on the tracks.

2 researchok  Thu, Aug 2, 2012 1:25:54am

LOL

Aren't we all.

3 Bob Dillon  Thu, Aug 2, 2012 1:33:12am

re: #2 researchok

Wise ones step aside.

4 Bob Levin  Thu, Aug 2, 2012 5:35:38am
“The machines have taken over, right?” said Patrick Healy, the chief executive of the Issuer Advisory Group, a capital markets consulting firm. “When events like this happen they just reaffirm that these aren’t investors, these are traders.”

Once again, let me preface this by saying it's actually a question, or half of a dialogue, thesis or anti-thesis or whatever.

This situation may not be a bad thing, or a totally bad thing. Historically, one of the ways in which investments and real wealth grew is through the acceleration of the pace of which capital moves. The faster capital can move, the greater the growth in wealth. This factor has been more beneficial than innovation--which is now accelerating rapidly, but still not fast enough to decrease unemployment.

But the other side of the equation, the speed of capital--that has topped out. It can't go any faster than the speed of light. And this means that this equation, a moving equation describing society, is stuck for the time being. In the interim, we have trading which is directing the movement of speed of light capital. And as I mentioned the other day, trading by itself creates value, which could render the predictions of economic collapse to become as meaningful as preseason sports predictions.

5 Destro  Thu, Aug 2, 2012 6:24:44am

re: #4 Bob Levin

Once again, let me preface this by saying it's actually a question, or half of a dialogue, thesis or anti-thesis or whatever.

This situation may not be a bad thing, or a totally bad thing. Historically, one of the ways in which investments and real wealth grew is through the acceleration of the pace of which capital moves. The faster capital can move, the greater the growth in wealth. This factor has been more beneficial than innovation--which is now accelerating rapidly, but still not fast enough to decrease unemployment.

But the other side of the equation, the speed of capital--that has topped out. It can't go any faster than the speed of light. And this means that this equation, a moving equation describing society, is stuck for the time being. In the interim, we have trading which is directing the movement of speed of light capital. And as I mentioned the other day, trading by itself creates value, which could render the predictions of economic collapse to become as meaningful as preseason sports predictions.

Trading by itself does not create value. Creation creates value. The value of the gold metal for example was enhanced when it was turned to a ring. The raw diamond's value was enhanced when it was faceted.

What you described spreading was not value but the Ebola virus. Capitalism is the Ebola virus.

Financial trading is what destroyed the world economy and trading produces nothing of value.

6 Destro  Thu, Aug 2, 2012 6:38:28am
7 Bob Levin  Thu, Aug 2, 2012 7:22:20am

re: #5 Destro

Okay. I'll have this discussion. However, are we going to have it from a Marxist perspective, or are we going to take a more pragmatic stance?

If we go from a Marxist perspective, then nothing has intrinsic value, other than food and some form of medicine--but that is only because we value life. Capitalism creates certain abstractions that we begin to consider more real than reality--which he talked about in the opening chapter of Capital, describing the idea of commodity, or commodity fetishism as it is usually called.

This act of living in a world of essentially artificial abstraction is, I believe, the essence of the idea of 'false consciousness'. However, this is where Marx ran into a little problem--which is, how does one break the chains of false consciousness into what is real? How can society free itself from false consciousness? I don't think he ever really answered that, since Capital was written after the Manifesto and after the Grundrisse.

In the meantime, in our dreamworld, we have to eat and have a place to live, and use money--which ends up being a bit more objective. Even an ardent capitalist theorist like Milton Friedman would not argue for 'intrinsic value'. Value is essentially defined by the argument of the market. Which is why a piece of cardboard with the picture of Honus Wagner sells for close to half a million dollars. Since there is no way to determine the objective intrinsic value, the market assigns a value through bidding and negotiation--which appears to us as rising or falling prices.


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