Why Are We Forced to Worship at the Feet of ‘Mythical’ Financial Markets Controlled by the Elite?

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/economy/153497/why_are_we_forced_to_worship_at_the_feet_of_%27mythical%27_financial_markets_controlled_by_the_elite/

We are told to appease the market gods or face eternal financial damnation.

By Les Leopold
December 20, 2011

 

The markets are “jittery,” “upset,” “skittish” and “unnerved.” They are “confident” or “unsure.” They are “demanding” that political leaders “put up or shut up.” And they are “reacting unfavorably” to Obama’s newfound populism.

 

These are just a few of the many ways financial markets are described each and every day by the media, financial players and public officials. At first it seems as if these markets are humanoids onto which we project our feelings. Yet, on closer inspection, it’s more like we have ascribed to them god-like powers. We are told to appease the market gods or face eternal financial damnation. As President Obama warned Europe recently, they must “muster the political will” to “settle markets down.”

 

Why do we worship these angry market gods?

 

Trading has been around for as long as humans. We, no doubt, increased our chances of survival through trading what we had more of for what we needed or wanted. The more complex our societies became the more markets grew. At some point during the Renaissance, markets emerged that traded money as well as goods, as city-states and nations sought ways to fund wars. But these markets were far from god-like. Sovereign nations ruled supreme and money-lenders had to do their bidding if they hoped to be repaid or in some cases, if they hoped to avoid execution. Even Adam Smith didn’t suggest that financial markets had god-like powers. In fact, these markets seemed more like petulant children throwing tantrums as they puffed up tulip bubbles, South Sea bubbles, railroad bubbles and periodic financial panics.

Continue reading at:   http://www.alternet.org/economy/153497/why_are_we_forced_to_worship_at_the_feet_of_%27mythical%27_financial_markets_controlled_by_the_elite/


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