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Thursday, December 22, 2011

What MF Global means.

How hilarious. Seeing MF Global chief Corzine testify before Congress (perhaps the most connected man on earth) and say that he knew nothing about the money and gold missing from his customers' accounts.

Imagine that you have a checking or savings account with some bank and brokerage and then it just disappears one day? Only ignorance and dread of what might happen keeps us from all closing down our accounts right now.

This incident is a signal of the ambivalence of property rights, the bedrock of Anglo-American political thinking. Yes we have them (said John Locke). But against Locke it seems we don't have them equally (We don't possess equal amounts of property either, but that is another story, read J.J. Rousseau's 2nd Discourse for more on that).

The point: Somebody with MORE property RIGHTS than MF Global's customers got paid off first as the firm collapsed. Even if that meant 'stealing' from them (but is it stealing if someone has more rights than you?)

That is a signal of oligarchy which is defined a rule by the richest. No, it is not rule by the rich as erroneously taught to political science undergrads. She who has more money has more say. Russia often gets accused of having such a system but one need not look so far away for it.

Now Congress and the regulators, both ostensibly democratic institutions, must sort out this spat between the rich and the richer. Oh how rich!!!!

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