I do not like Financial Times: Future of Capitalism: 50 people who will frame the debate
By Steven Bernard, Jeremy Lemer and FT Reporters
Published: March 10 2009
I admit that most of 50 people of FT are prominent persons, however, none of them is outstanding philosopher (Karl Popper ‘s student George Soros might, unfortunately, he is an infamous Speculator now!), no outstanding Mathematician, statistics and computer science guys, not any prominent commercial law or business law lawyer and no prominent Economics historian there! FT’s 50 only has a good Economist, Paul Krugman, smart banker, Jamie Dimon of JPM, experienced technocrat and bureaucrat Alan Greenspan. I am sure, they can frame a fair good debate, but the most important substances are lacking of. The FT 50 reflects its hollow and shallow comprehension about what made this recession and why?
Why I say that?
Here is my personal and humble views: The soul of Capitalism is free market. The Bible of free market is Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations”- and its main ideas: self-interest and Invisible hand. The most important directives of free market are Adam Smith’s “The Theory of Moral Sentiments “-its main idea: sympathy turns to moral businessman. The Prominent Advocate of free market and its invisible hand of 20th century is Free-market Theorist, Milton Friedman. (I advise Readers who should find all the books of Adam Smith to read, if you have the time! For easy to understand, simplicity is needed here!)
The flaw of Adam Smith is: A business person or owner wants to maximize his or her self-interest (profit) in free market, in most of case, the invisible hand- self-regulating nature of the marketplace- can not constrain him or her. Adam Smith never scientifically proves there is a force of “invisible hand” which regulates free market! He just assumed it had! And the tragedy is that we assumed it existed too. Especially, Milton Friedman!
The second flaw of Adam Smith, he assumes businessperson or owner should have sympathy and will be moral businessperson. In reality, when businessperson or owner maximize his profit, he has always done it in a way legal not moral! The noted example: Bill Gates in his hay days of Microsoft! (I am sorry Bill!). As a CEO in MSFT, he always wants to maximize the profit for his company in a legal but not moral way! In this highly competitive American capitalistic society, moral businessman is very rare! That is no strange, AIG’s infamous and “greedy is good” department, Financial Products and their guys, who use their Beautiful- Machine-generated-CDS to rob the free market. (Readers please read the series of “Beautiful Machine” published By Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Brady Dennis
Washington Post Staff Writers on December 29, 2008)! Most action of Financial Products are Legal but not moral (no risk hedge!!) The horrible fact is that at least 70% of 62 Trillions of CDS is speculative! Greedy and legal!
And there is no scientific data to prove the moral businesspersons or owners (If there are some), would not use the strange way to maximize their self-interest! Same! We should not assume all Drivers has a sympathy and moral heart, and will not break the law, so to abolish the speedy law in US!
In reality, Businessperson, owner or CEO just a businessman, there is no moral or moral difference. Their duty is to maximize their self-interest and company profit. And there is no invisible hand in free –market, only law can govern the free market and law must be rewrote from time to time in order to protect the participants and regulate new products such as the exotic derivatives, CDO, CDS and Synthetic CDO.
The flaw assumptions of Adam Smith: Invisible hand in free market and a moral business person that dictate Capitalism from 17th century to present is outdated. We need to replace them by a new philosophy.
If any new instrumental tools such as by using super-computer model formulates any exotic derivates before the company puts them into the market, the inventor should provide detail information to SEC and has the SEC approval.
The practitioners including issuers, banker and trader must take the risk hedge against the exotic derivates.
See! I do not know why FT did not invite some prominent philosophers to point out the flaws of Adam Smith’s assumption and introduce a new economics philosophy. A Mathematician and statisticians point out the kind of flaws of AIG’s CDS formula. A computer science specialist to explain super-computer and computer model have their own limits. A good Businesses law lawyer explains that it is not government intervention; it’s lawless or insufficient laws to govern the American free-market that led to this tsunami recession! An Economic historian explains why there is a cycle or repetition of recession and economic bubbles?
Got it! FT? The future Capitalism needs the above-mentioned specialists to provide their wisdom. To much Alan Greenspan, Jamie Dimon kind of and economists did not help the future Capitalism debate.