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Twosomes in Finance. Associate! August 2012
This issue of Associate! looks at ‘banking culture’ from an associative point of view. Most commentators speak of banking culture in terms of the prevailing state:market paradigm, in which, simply expressed, private actors are trusted not to break the bounds of decent behaviour, but once they have and are found out, are reprimanded by the state. But that, surely, is the cultural problem: we do not believe that the individual can act out of anything higher than his own interest, often little more than what he can get away with. The oft-spoken remedy is to separate retail from investment banking, as the 1933 Glass Steagall Act did (until repealed in 1999). But that was a legal remedy. Today, as indeed then, something different is called for, something in the nature of twosomes.
The first thing is to recognise that finance is very much Two Sides, One Coin, as explored in the opening montage. This features extracts from Rudolf Steiner’s work concerning especially his concept of ‘purchase money’ and ‘loan money’ and how they need to be differentiated.
In Capital: Mattress or Giraffe?, Sign of Our Time features up-to-date commentary from the City of London offering a radical solution to the problem of investment banking ‘excess’, both in terms of their behaviour and the amounts of capital at their disposal.
Goodbye Multiplier by Christopher Houghton Budd then considers the role of ‘the multiplier concept’, so central to conventional monetary theory, yet possibly the very thing that creates rather resolves the conflicting logics of cash and credit, retail and investment.
The AEX Pages focus on Keynes and Dimitrije Mitrinovic, two voices that remind us of the core problems that modern social life refuses to address.
Accounting Corner rounds things off with a focus on the idea that money is the world’s bookkeeping.
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