Comments on: Counterparties http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/04/19/counterparties-134/ A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: lemarin http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/04/19/counterparties-134/comment-page-1/#comment-13770 Wed, 21 Apr 2010 02:39:46 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=3464#comment-13770 There is a good summary of the Stanford case here: http://worthwhile.typepad.com/worthwhile _canadian_initi/2010/04/the-sec-case-no- one-is-talking-about.html

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By: Philon http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/04/19/counterparties-134/comment-page-1/#comment-13688 Mon, 19 Apr 2010 18:27:40 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=3464#comment-13688 Thanks for the pointer to DeLong. He writes: “Perhaps the active exchange [is] itself the motive for other bad actions [I think this means: “other actions, which actions are bad”; it would be premature to label the exchange itself “bad”] outside the narrowly economic sphere (when the existence of British demand for tobacco, sugar, and cotton triggers the growth of plantations in and around the Caribbean and makes it worth people’s while to wage war in Africa to steal slaves, then that market for cotton, sugar and tobacco is a bad thing, even though both the sellers and the buyers of cotton, sugar and tobacco like it).”

This is misguided. It was not any particular exchange that provided the motive for enslavement: it was the fact that *people in general valued things that could be most cheaply produced by using slaves*. No exchange gave rise to slavery: it was, rather, the obvious *potential for future exchanges*.

And while the fact that T, S, and C were valuable was a factor in giving rise to slavery, and slavery is bad, it does not follow that the value of these commodities was bad. Their value was hardly the sole causal factor; maybe a negative evaluation should be put only on some of the other factors, such as the unrestrained greed of the slaver-traders and slave-owners and slave-drivers (and some of the bystanders), with *the value of T, S, and C* getting a neutral or even a positive evaluation.

By DeLong’s reasoning, the fact that automobiles are valuable is a bad thing, since it provides a motivation for auto theft; the fact that artworks are valuable is a bad thing, since it provides a motivation for art theft; etc. The fact that some people are physically attractive is bad, since it provides a motivation (one motivation, at least) for rape; the fact that people like to have a good opinion of themselves is bad, since it provides a motivation for flattery; etc. None of this is cogent, nor has it any bearing on the value of exchange.

(I wouldn’t try to post this on DeLong’s site; he’s notorious for deleting critical comments.)

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By: randolfduke http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/04/19/counterparties-134/comment-page-1/#comment-13669 Mon, 19 Apr 2010 15:49:35 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=3464#comment-13669 great first line

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By: ContrarianP http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/04/19/counterparties-134/comment-page-1/#comment-13667 Mon, 19 Apr 2010 15:28:43 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=3464#comment-13667 Bob,

I swear, just read the table of contents…. it lays out a perfect synopsis.

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By: REDruin http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/04/19/counterparties-134/comment-page-1/#comment-13661 Mon, 19 Apr 2010 13:08:52 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/?p=3464#comment-13661 HEy Felix, is there a synopsis of the Stanford judgment coming out with the juicy condemnations? I don’t have time at work to wade through the whole thing.

==Bob

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