One has to read this thing, though Arnold Kling should be required to submit a complete bibliography to this Post. I will inform my poor Readers that they should not worry if they cannot follow the entire line of argument; no one could without the proper number of Graduate courses in economics. I agree with Arnold on his emphasis on (b) with little resort to (a), thinking it was Bernanke and Paulson shouting in the crowded theater who were responsible for (a). These Two, responding to the anxiety of their old friends, began to have Nightmares and spread those bad dreams. It was the theater ushers who started the Panic. The credit crunch was more the imagery of Bankers who feared a loss of the whale profits of their youth, than it was a lockup of the basic Credit foundation. I would stipulate for the rest of Arnold’s work that Money is the exact medium where temporary value is translated into permanent value, where it can be compared with other values which have been transposed. As such, Money should be minimized as to alternate value in and of itself, as it clouds the evaluation context. There forms inconsistency every time One starts to consider Money as a Product, rather than as a Price Tag. Keep it simple, and you will not need to know and understand all the terrors of the Night like Arnold.
Here I am back to analyzing Arnold again, and I hope he takes no offense to my scribbles, as I am only trying to understand this whole process myself. Derivatives are Sidebar bets on whether the Shooter can make his Point; it helps if One has played Craps previously. They need to have minimal contact with the original Participants, and are only a means to hedge against bad prior judgement by the Participants. The trouble comes that they avoid this risk by transferring it to Others, who often do not understand the degree of difficulty involved in achieving their Point and repayment. A lot of people want to criticize the lack of information, a lot of people want to condemn the rating agencies, a lot of people would seek death for the Investment banks; all because the Money was whisked from the table, and Few knew where it went. I really don’t care, because I risk at the Craps table, where life is simple and you can watch the Croupier pocket your Money; knowing full well that God wills it.
I will diverge from the previous program to this short missive, though the only real input is in the postscript by rdan. I do this in order to avoid another long monologue about the injustice of the health care system from my primary care physician. Health Care provision is like derivatives in that people like to bet on whether they will need health insurance to the full magnitude potential. The health care industry love that they can make high Profits from Patient residual fears, and maintain above-normal Price structures. Patients do not realize they underwrite excessive Profits formation from health care by their insistence on health care insurance of total fulfillment, and Businessmen perceive the ability to institutionalize monopoly profits. I only know that I have went on way too long today, and placed myself behind schedule. lgl