I would appreciate it if my Readers would read this Post. It discusses the real limitations of the use of Self Interest in regulating the market mechanism. I always begin to think on the discussion in terms of corruption, though the excesses of Self Interest also contain a wide range of benign influences which hold deadly effect. Some would acclaim that Markets themselves contain inherent evil; yet, these are the very people who would use Markets to determine political and social decisions. Democracy itself is a basic Market system, and to ignore the Self Interest innate to it would be foolish. Making the hard decisions often takes a greater discipline than which Most possess, and the greater the expected value of corruption, the greater will be the insufficiency of the discipline. The only hope past this Point remains Transparency, though the later itself contains it own inherent evil. I, as a Realist, recognize that no system devised by Mankind will be perfect, and even if it were, corrupt elements would destroy that perfection to develop channeled Self Interest. There was once a Dude ( I will let the Reader find him if desired, as I have forgotten Who–Senior Moment here) who asserted that any human activity or design will be corrupted within 30 years, even if it were run by God. Mankind simply has not been created to be idealistic.
Arnold Kling presents with this tract, in line with the previous Thought, and establishes some justification for the glorification of the Past; Finance being one of those areas where perfection may have been corrupted in the name of Self Interest. I simply don’t know if pure fractional Banking holds greater virtue than does Credit Defaults Swaps, as the value of God himself rests in the integrity of the parishioners. Holding on to traditional Truths may only grant One the potential to become a Rube in a Shell Game run by Others. I would advise all Readers to walk the financial Minefield with due diligence, with a strong grasp on your Wallet.
There is currently a Plan afoot to shrink Cities (by venue of Mish). The fact is that Cities are just as affected by the financial crisis as have been Homeowners. Cities are way over-financed, without even access to Credit for Debt Service. The basic Plan may sound stupid, as it is a simple elimination of the Upkeep Cost of City Construction, by return of the development to pasturage. I fear the Solution will work only if redevelopment in the areas reduced is forbidden, which it will never be in the Long-Run; it will only cheapen the Development Cost of the land, and will impel a Reconstruction Cost on City Services. Always be wary of the creation of a Developer’s dream. lgl