A point from which to move the world

“Resort to ‘leverage’ in the financialized world supposedly enables individuals and corporations to get rid of ‘unrewarded risk’ and maximize outcomes. While the word ‘debt’ has a negative ring to it, the word ‘leverage’ is positive; indeed it is now often used as a verb, as we leverage our assets in order to reach for the stars. Forgetting that Archimedes’ lever had a purchase point, the financial engineers aspire to move the world without securing the land on which they stand. In their philosophy, all that is fixed melts into air. This gives them some insight into capitalist motion but no sense of its limits. In contemporary capitalist conditions, especially a grey capitalism riddled with defective links between principals and agents, financialization becomes hugely destructive.” – Robin Blackburn, “The Subprime Crisis”

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