Continuing on with the award winning series of “everything is rigged’ posts, here is a link to an informative piece at Barry Ritholtz’s blog. The title is “Banks Are Manipulating Gold and Silver Markets”, but it goes on to list all kinds of market rigging, like energy, commodities, interest rates, currencies, etc. With a plethora of links (as opposed to a plethora of piñatas).
I wonder: At what point does the ubiquity though space and time of a phenomenon lead you to the conclusion that it’s a feature, not a bug? Just how easily, and readily, is the invisible, though iron clad, hand of the market thwarted or appropriated? The expansive list provided at the link would indicate that the answer is pretty damn readily.
In anything approaching a rational discourse, the endless lists of fraud, abuse, and manipulation that is the history of capitalism would serve as a insurmountable indictment against the benevolent, all powerful god of the free market. But there is always a true believer to offer up a theodicy. Like any fundamentalist, the market fundamentalist is looking for the practice of the pure, the true faith, one unsullied by the grimy compromises of this fallen world. Something he will never find, at least not until he shuffles off this mortal coil to his final reward.
What’s become obvious to me: the markets aren’t magic, they’re us. They always have been. Markets are powerful, useful tools that can spurn innovation and improve lives. They are tools created by us, and they can be broken by us. They can be used for good or bad. Having lived through the last five years of economic crisis and stagnation, how could you come to any other conclusion?