Working at OccupyLSX is the most exciting and engaging thing we\’ve ever done, but we can see that some of what we\’re doing seems unclear from the outside. Not having a set programme for people to \”buy into\” is deliberate – we\’re choosing a different way of going about things. Our response to systemic failure is not to propose a new system, but to start making one. We\’re in the business of defining process, and specific demands will evolve from this in time.
This is how the financial markets developed in the first place. People sitting around in caffs wondering how to organise things, standing around the courtyard of the Royal Exchange and wondering what rules there should be about how to buy or sell stuff.
Couple of centuries later and we\’ve got The City.
What interests about all these discussions about how the system should be built anew is that if you did start with a blank slate and were deciding how you were going to allocate capital, allow savings to be employed in investment and all the rest, you\’d end up, after the usual blind alleys and mistakes, with a system not appreciably different from the one we\’ve got now.
Specialist intermediaries doing the moving the money around, sucking in the savings and spewing out the investments. Those specialists would be highly paid by the standards of the society simply because when you handle all the money some will stick to the palms. We\’d have primary and secondary markets, we\’d have markets in most things.
For, you see, this same game has been played out in a number of different places over the centuries. No financial intermediation means no large scale industry of any type. No secondary markets makes primary capital hugely expensive, thus making the society poorer. Things with no markets tend not to work very well.
We\’d end up pretty much where we are again. Might be a few changes around the fringes but the more revolutionary calls for a \”completely new system\” are futile. For we\’ve tried any number of systems, from allocation by birth, bureaucracy, political connections even religious observance and what we\’ve found out is that allocation by markets works least bad.
So allocation by markets will be what we end up with again then.