making the move from physics to finance

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Tue Sep 16 12:40:34 MDT 2003


Sabri:

> In my view, what we are facing is an overproduction-underconsumption
> crisis: more rocket scientists than the industry can "consume". What
> is wasted in this however are humans.

well said!!!!

> My question is this: how seriously will these academics be taken by
> the owners of money?

good question. it'd be interesting to gather some facts from the
various financial institutions. from what i hear from friends who are
in the "capital management" biz, the finance thermo is still alive at
some level.

> No! I am highly skeptical about this pseudo-science so I don't pay
> any attention any more.

this was always my reaction so i never looked before. figured i'd take
one peek now.

> Well. Don't know this particular book but he is entertaining, isn't
> he?  They did not give him Nobel for nothing. He has been one of the
> most influential mathematicians in economics.

the one i am reading thru (skimming really), is "Theory of Value: An
Axiomatic Analysis of Economic Equilibrium":

  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0300015593/qid=1063737204/sr=2-1/ref=sr_2_1/104-3071990-2930352

i can believe he is influential, but at the moment, my reaction falls
in line with Keen's in "Debunking Economics":

     Unfortunately, reality had to be seriously distorted to 'prove'
     that general equilibrium could be attained. But, for the reasons
     given in Chapter 7, economists would rather sacrifice generality
     than sacrifice the concept of equilibrium.

     The pinnacle of this warping of reality came with the publication
     in 1959 of Gerard Debreu's "Theory of Value", which the respected
     historian of economic thought Mark Blaug has described as
     "probbaly the most arid and pointless book in the entire
     literature of economics" (Blaug 1998). Yet this "arid and
     pointlesss" tome set the mould for economics for the next fourty
     years -- and won for its author the Nobel Prize for economics.

     p. 171 bottom, in Section "'Generalizing' Walras"


perhaps we can debate all this sometime soon? in the meantime,
wage-labour beckons....

les schaffer



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