Playing the Markets with Fraction Man

Fraction Man Aims for the Fences

Like Duncan, I’m not an economist or a financial analyst but it is useful for people like us to think about these things in metaphors and he made a ton of sense today:

The entire financial system is practically collapsing and they’re [CNBC business pundits] lamenting the possibility of more regulation. I don’t think the sports/referee metaphor is perfect, but it’s probably good enough. People who prattle on about “the free market” are usually too stupid to have a clue how complicated and pervasive the “rules” had to be to to get a well-functioning modern market system: sophisticated concepts of contracts and enforcement, property rights, legal entities, proper accounting, bankruptcy, limited liability, etc… etc…, did not descend from the heavens but were, in fact, created.

Earlier, he likens what’s going on to a building fire:

It might have been the right thing to run down to the river with buckets to collect water to throw on the burning building, but it would have been much better to have better fire codes and a functioning fire department.

You can also infer the situations involving Katrina, the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA here.

Finally, the sports metaphor linked to at TPM in the first quote goes like this:

…the markets operate like team sports — like say, a football game. Team sports don’t operate well without referees, and that’s exactly what’s happened under the Republicans.

They can blame Clinton all they want — the fact is, the Republicans under leadership of such brain trusts as Phil Gramm have methodically removed the referees from the games, and look what’s happened. One of the primary reasons investors shy away from putting money into third world countries is an ABSENCE OF REGULATION.

Honestly, the free-market whiners who bemoan regulation sound like the corporate welfare socialist pigs they are and I’m here to stuff some punk rock in their ears.

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