Summer School "Ecology and Society: Frontiers and Boundaries" / 3 - 7 June 2019

Ecosystems societies Climate change Forests Hydrosystems Atmosphere Biodiversity Agrosystems Pressures Impacts Modelling Pollution Ecotoxicology Biogeochimical cycles Ecology Adaptability

Report by students

Evening

Group - Crédits photo LabEx COTE

Dégustation - Crédits photo LabEx COTE

Evening

Conference room

Group - Crédits photo LabEx COTE

Round table Global ecology

Hydrosystems week

Field Trip

Round table on global change

Welcome !

Cellars

Evening

Field trip - Salles

Cellars

Ecosystems services

Dune du Pyla

Fieldtrip Vineyard - Crédits photo LabEx COTE

Field trip - Salles

In the Short Run We Are All Dead. Or, How Financial Volatility Conceals Environmental Signals

by Ivan Ascher

The English economist John Maynard Keynes made no secret of his irritation with his neoclassical colleagues who insisted that if left to its own devices, the market would reach an equilibrium, optimum point. While such an equilibrium might be achieved in the long run, Keynes conceded, "the long run is a misleading guide to current affairs." As he famously quipped, "in the long run we are all dead."

Nearly a century later, the neoclassical paradigm retains a remarkably strong hold on much of the policy establishment, and Keynes's phrase has lost none of its poignancy. If anything, it may even have to be amended to reflect a new urgency and a changing temporal order. Not only is the threat of environmental collapse greater than ever, but the time horizon of today's economic actors seems to be growing shorter by the day. In the short run, it seems, we are all dead.

There are those, admittedly, who still trust that the market and its price signals can provide agents all the information they need to allocate their resources optimally and thus incorporate information about environmental trends. But in an age of financialized capitalism and derivative markets, that is simply not the case. If anything, today's financial markets can be shown to conceal environmental trends, and to pretend otherwise would be both mistaken and politically irresponsible.



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