A butterfly flapped his wing

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Wed Mar 1 00:57:52 MST 1995

A Butterfly flapped his wings in Singapore.

Yesterday, the front pages of all the English press, from
the low-brow to the high brow had large photographs of
the confident good-looking 28 year old trader who has
bankrupted London's oldest bank. The Tokyo Nikkei index
and the parity of the pound to the Deutschmark have
plunged. The Bank of England has been shown in front of
the world to be too weak to sustain the losses and London
has probably lost ground permanently.

We don't yet know which flap of his wing was the critical one
or what was the underlying problem. Some say that the computer
control systems were not good enough. (But computers were the
problem with Black Monday). Some say there was collusion with
backroom staff. Some in the City will be whispering secretly,
England being England, that perhaps he did not come from the
right school for an establishment bank.

For us it illustrates yet again that the system Marx
criticised so penetratingly, with all its negative and
positive feedback dynamics, conforms to the laws of chaos
theory, not to the laws of mechanical engineering.


Chris Burford

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