CX (Re)leituras -- A Crash Course in the Future of Finance, by Nouriel Roubini and Stephen Mihm, comments by André Bandeira
This crash course, by «Doctor Death», in Economics, is very much educational. One has some difficulty in handling all the different financial products, toxic and non-toxic, which flourished since 2006 or even long before, but which only recently began making part of our daily intake. Roubini is very much for History, not because it repeats itself but because the ignorance of History tends to make us fall into the same holes, time and again. He is an ecletic: neither socialism, nor libertarianism. One has to compose with contributions of different theories in order to find the optimal mix, to save us from long and excruciating crises. But after so many financial products (which makes wonder about Schumpeter's maxim about capitalism superiority, that means, the stronger flux of technological innovations) one wonders if they wouldn't be better categorized as psychofinancial innovations. Anyway, the History of government -- I don't mean governance, most of all good governance -- is so vey much casted into the History of Economics, that libertarianism, whenever coming from specialists in Economics, graduated from the most prestigious Universities, even if they once had a crush for the artist Ayn Rand, seems to be a rightist infant disease of capitalism. Now I understand, why one of the «randists», Alan Greenspan, in his times as chairman of the Federal Reserve, was appearing once with his wallet in the right hand, and others in the left, for the speculations of the battery of journalists, which was waiting for him: he was acting as the jugglar of his own life. He was distracting us all from his three pieces suit, which represented, along with his painful looking, the depressive fall of all his youth's libertarian sprees. He was not exuberant, of course, and this was his last comment, as a fallen angel, about what was going bad in a heighty sky where everything was stumbling down. Like the old Buddenbrook, in Thomas Mann's novel, who only managed to say, in his later days: «It's funny...», Greenspan couldn't say much more than Pithya, the oracle. Of course one learns more than one thing in this superb lecture: first, there is a new product, different from all previous ones which kept Marx, Pareto, Say, Smith and Mill busy: that is the debt, in all its forms. And I ask: is it a kind of curse, deepely rooted in Mankind's mind, still able to make us all react as the guinea-pigs in the first Pavlov's experiments? The question leads us to the second lesson learned: if History cannot be ignored, besides the freshness of some raw libertarianism (which is neither coarse, nor candid, but it is certainly nude), other perspectives are also required. What made the West, as a civilization, plant and breed this new formidable tree of paradise we call debt?