Saturday, September 20, 2008

tectonic shifts in The Estate

Like every news junkie (I imagine), I'm fascinated by what's happening this month to Wall Street.

I don't think that the financial crisis is a fundamental (structural) economic event (though a severe credit crisis has a recessional—viscous—domino effect). It's a milestone for democratic capitalism—what I call the fairly free market. More fairness (public protection) is coming to the U.S. market.

It's not the case that "the free market" (such as it was, as Greenspanian dynamic of trust and "punishment" by market forces) is "for all intents and purposes...dead in America," quoting Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning (yesterday). Today, it's not that the Treasury proposal would "take away the free market and institute socialism in America" (Reuters) by broadly intervening or by, say, highly regulating capital reserve requirements on risk. There was no free market, strictly speaking; it's been heavily socialized for many decades, via the vastly complex parametric and regulatory regime that new financial instruments have escaped. To regulate out-of-control financial opacity in distributed risk is not to socialize "the market"—not even to socialize "the" financial market, which loosely netweaves itself with regional and interregional commodity markets.