Thursday, January 26, 2012

Reflections on finance

A fiend of mine has started illustrating over at his blog with quite a lot of cleverness the concepts of modern life.

This illustration of the mortgage is indeed very reflective of the times in which we live in.
Finance being a technology, like many other technologies, being applied for the first time in a way which hinders humanity. Nuclear power was first put to use as an weapon and out of the general understanding of the damage that it caused it was decided to try better ways of putting it to use.

Finance is now being put to use for gathering and concentrating wealth and we have seen the damage that it has done to our planet, and our well-being. However I do not see any of the people involved acknowledging that "Now we are all sons of bitches" like Kenneth Bainbridge commented to Los Alamos director J. Robert Oppenheimer, shortly after the first nuclear bomb exploded.
Without such a recognition of guilt the drive to use finance to purely profiteer will continue. What worries me most is that in the current case there is also a denial of the power that finance really has. If such an awareness was really present in the community de-regulation would not have been so thorough and the situation we are now in would have not been so bad.

The drive to use atomic energy as a weapon still persists today, and will for many years, so will the drive to use finance for egotistical means. However the admission of guilt and of the causes of the crises, whether through malevolence or incompetence needs to be acknowledged as a step to consider the greater picture and start doing what we can to heal the planet and our relationship with it.

If we learn our lesson, admit our guilt, from recent events and move towards applying distributing wealth the technology can be put to good use and benefit everyone. Much like a nuclear power plant powers homes and industries. It is not without risk of course, but if care is taken to mitigate it through regulation it is a great force.

I think it is time to understand really what finance is and what it can do to be put to the benefit of the world instead of crushing us and destroying our planet.