Social and Environmental Unsustainability
The corrollaries of speculation on numerical increase in share prices in the short term include extraction, externalizing, dehumanizing, uncaring reckless unreckoning with the future consequences of present choices.
In the theory of Neoliberalism, this is not the market’s job. It’s up to individual market participants to reckon with the future, and shape their own personal buy and sell decisions accordingly.
The theory is silent, however, about what happens when Market Professionals take over, and individuals values-weighted decision making gets pushed to the periphery.
Professionals, according to the theory, don’t judge. They just trade. They extract maximum profits. They externalize maximum cost/loss/risk. They deal in numbers. Not consequences. That’s not their job.
Of course, when they are the only trader of any significant size in the markets, then it’s nobody’s job to care.
The surface fix is to force them to care, to hold them accountable for reckoning with the consequences.
That fix doesn’t work, because it’s mot what they do. The logic of the markets is that the markets don’t care. Market professionals don’t care. The caring is all on us. The people.
But we, the people, don’t really have a voice in a market that has been Financialized by Fiduciary Money. Or, rather, our voice becomes white noise, ignored in the trading pits, because we are speaking a language of impact and consequence. In the pits, they only speak price: numbers of shares, and price per share.
In truth, numbers and prices are the only language ever spoken in the markets. Judgements about impact and consequence are always external to the business of trading on share prices.
These are considerations that shape our decision to enter, stay or exit the markets. But once we are in, our only choice is to talk price. Or get out.
Which is what our Pensions & Endowments have to do. Because The Pension Promise is about sufficiency. And sufficiency is never just a number.