Thursday, April 7, 2016

Money Wisdom #401

"Whatever its form, money's intermediate status is what lends it an ambiguity that provokes ambivalence. In his creative application of game theory and complexity studies to money and finance, Shubik [in The Theory of Money and Financial Institutions p.282] observes that other than money, 'financial instruments are always created in pairs that net to zero.' This insight has implications that extend far beyond economic relations as they are traditionally understood. Since financial instruments and the relations they establish are always created in pairs, they form a structure characterized by binary opposition. As the exception to this rule, money falls between these opposites and thus can serve as the medium of exchange. Money, therefore, is liminal; always betwixt 'n' between, it is the condition of the possibility of a structure that cannot incorporate it. To be an effective medium of exchange determining different values, money must retain a neutrality that, in Shimmel's [sic] terms, 'is completely adaptable to any use'. As a result of this neutrality, money can take many forms; it is, in other words, polymorphous, polyvalent, and, some would insist, perverse."

Mark C Taylor Confidence Games 2004 p.60

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