From the vault: money and the mind, a psychoanalysis

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LBO News from Doug Henwood

[Related topics came up earlier today on the Facebook, so I thought I’d post this excerpt from my book Wall Street (Verso, 1996/1997). You can download the whole book for free here. For a more “economic” analysis of money and gold, see From the vault: the gold fetish.]

Money, mind, and matter: a psychocultural digression

 Money is a kind of poetry.

— Wallace Stevens (1971, p. 165)

Who drinks on credit gets twice as drunk.

— Turkish proverb

One virtue of Keynes’s attention to psychology and sentiment is that it forces us to think about economics in a way that most economists find squishy and unscientific. This narrowness of vision has harmed the dismal science immeasurably.

Credit is money of the mind, as James Grant (1992) put it in a book title, though of course every now and then mental money faces an unpleasant coming to terms…

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