Bubbles : post-conference readings

Hi everyone,

It was great seeing some of you in Copenhagen.

For those who couldn't be there, I have put together a short list of recent references in several disciplines in relation to bubbles, as a result of the discussions and presentations feedbacks we had on our workshop, that could be useful for your research or just to satisfy your curiosity.

Menawhile, please stay active also for Tallin, since we are finalising our proposal.


Bubbles and Centrak Banks – Markus Brunnermeier
"This paper reviews some of the most prominent asset price bubbles from the past 400 years and documents how central banks (or other institutions) reacted to those bubbles. The historical evidence suggests that the emergence of bubbles is often preceded or accompanied by an expansionary monetary policy, lending booms, capital inflows, and financial innovation or deregulation."



The Empire of Value – André Orléan
"Orléan argues that value is not bound up with labor, or utility, or any other property that preexists market exchange. Economic value, he contends, is a social force whose vast sphere of influence, amounting to a kind of empire, extends to every aspect of economic life. Markets are based on the identification of value with money, and exchange value can only be regarded as a social institution. Financial markets, for example, instead of defining an extrinsic, objective value for securities, act as a mechanism for arriving at a reference price that will be accepted by all investors. What economists must therefore study, Orléan urges, is the hold that value has over individuals and how it shapes their perceptions and behavior."


The Value of Everything – Marianna Mazzucato
"We misidentify takers as makers, and have lost sight of what value really means. Once a central plank of economic thought, this concept of value – what it is, why it matters to us – is simply no longer discussed."
Read more at https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/280466/the-value-of-everything/#1GcFJz9wuYdvkyA2.99



Phantastic objects and the financial market’s sense of reality: A psychoanalytic contribution to the understanding of stock market instability – David Tuckett
"Based on the evidence of historical accounts, supplemented by some interviewing, the authors suggest a psychoanalytic approach focusing on unconscious phantasy relationships, states of mind, and unconscious group functioning can explain some outstanding questions about financial bubbles which cannot be explained with mainstream economic theories. The authors also suggest some institutional features of financial markets which may ordinarily increase or decrease the likelihood that financial decisions result from splitting off those thoughts which give rise to painful emotions. Splitting would increase the future risk of financial instability and in this respect the theory with which economic agents in such markets approach their work is important. An interdisciplinary theory recognizing and making possible the integration of emotional experience may be more useful to economic agents than the present mainstream theories which contrast rational and irrational decision-making and model them as making consistent decisions on the basis of reasoning alone."



The Ecology of Attention – Yves Citton
"Cultural theorist Yves Citton goes against the tide of these standard laments to offer a new perspective on the problem of attention in the digital age. Phrases like paying attention and investing one s attention attest to our mistaken belief that attention can be conceptualized in narrow economic terms. We are constantly drawn towards attempts to quantify and commodify attention, even down to counting the number of 'likes' a picture receives on Facebook or a video on YouTube. By contrast, Citton argues that we should conceptualize attention as a kind of ecology and examine how the many different environments to which we are exposed from advertising to literature, search engines to performance art condition our attention in different ways. "