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PENNSYLVANIA AVE -  America's MAIN Street...

Politics and Policy Frame the Game...

"You can't understand how the financial crisis came about without understanding the politics of the relationship between the financial sector and government and the anthropology of the cultures of these organizations, or indeed without appreciating the history of bubbles and financial crisis."

Hat tip ~ John Kay, British economist, Economics in the Real World

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The White House

It's The Culture, Stupid!

Posted by Robert Butler, December 30, 2011. Published on More Intelligent Life.

In 1992, Bill Clinton beat George Bush to the presidency with the slogan, "It's the economy, stupid". Twenty years later, this phrase looks even more of a simplification than when it first surfaced. The current financial crisis has shown us the economy is part of something much wider: it's the culture, stupid. Readers of Michael Lewis's new book Boomerang have been taken on a hair-raising tour of Germany, Greece, Iceland, and America during the financial crisis, Boomerang shows how the economies are very different because the countries themselves - and their attitudes toward finance - are very different. But this is a crisis for financial experts too. Gillian Tett, US managing editor at the Financial Times, told the BBC this week that for the last 20 or 30 years people have been trained to think that if they had a computer spread sheet and lots of numbers and equations they could not only predict the future but also control the economic environment. "The great wake-up call of the last year is that it's actually about the social and political fabric and the question of what's going to happen to the Eurozone or the UK or the US really depends on politics and the culture and the way that societies behave and people just aren't trained to understand that or analyze it." Tett, tipped as a future editor of the FT, may have a head start: she has a PhD in social anthropology.



Democracy, Culture & Capitalism

"The pull of value, mediated by valuation, contracting, and guidance technologies, influences the paths of development of design and artifacts. The promised reward to those seeking value will be greatest along the paths that correspond to high-perceived market value. For their part, the technologies of contracting and guidance will affect both what designers can see and how they seek value. As a result, the artifacts that arise in an advanced market economy will be different from those realized in primitive or planned economies. That is why the organization of the economic system is important to us as we attempt to understand the evolution of complex designs of artifacts like computers. Thus we need to look at the economic system as a whole, using three technologies - valuation, contracting, and guidance - as our lens."

Hat Tip ~ Design Rules, The Power of Modularity.