[Marxism] The Futility of Financial Regulation: Lessons for Capitalism from Science and Professional Football

michael perelman michael at ecst.csuchico.edu
Sun Sep 13 11:30:34 MDT 2009

The Wall Street Journal does not make the connection explicit, the 
editors must realize that the sophisticated investors, who own luxury 
boxes (or even professional football teams), will get the message: 
financial regulation is futile. The offense has a scientific advantage 
over the defense. No matter what strategy the defense uses, the offense 
can find a way to overpower it. The Journal even gives scientific 
analysis to make this point. Of course, the possibility remains, of 
moving from a competitive capitalistic game to a more cooperative system 
will eliminate the need for offenses and defenses. Notice the similarity 
between the analysis of football and neoclassical descriptions of the 

Futterman, Matthew. 2009. "Behind the NFL's Touchdown Binge As Scoring 
Soars, One Professor Sees Parallels in Nature: The 'River Basin' 
Theory." Wall Street Journal (10 September).

"The NFL has become so fast and efficient that last season, teams each 
scored 22.03 points per game, the highest since 1967, while all the 
league's 32 teams combined for 11,279 points -- the most in NFL history."

"Some football thinkers believe these numbers speak to a temporary 
period of offensive dominance in the NFL -- just one more high point in 
an endlessly fluctuating historical curve. But if you venture a bit 
beyond the particulars of football, to the principles of science, 
there's another argument to be made: that the NFL's high-speed, 
high-scoring offenses are a reflection of one of the laws of nature—the 
tendency of all things to evolve toward efficiency. "

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Michael Perelman
Economics Department
California State University
michael at ecst.csuchico.edu
Chico, CA 95929
fax 530-898-5901

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