The Time of Money in Financing and Society
Chapter 9: The Production of the Future
If financial markets have become markets of the observation of observers and time, and derivatives are tools for buying and selling risk, how does finance change with the spread of derivatives? Derivatives make money work differently. They allow one to buy and sell assets without owning them. They are a new form of money independent of the property of the exchanged objects (section 1). Property reassures about the future because it warrants that one will enjoy a good, even if others might want that good. Money extends this assurance to different goods in the sense that to have money means to have future property. Derivatives let this safety about the future, which they sell and exchange, circulate, without linking it to the property of the goods (or any other property). They deal with safety and uncertainty. If one deals with future uncertainty, however, one actually deals with the future, and does so with very complex and formalized techniques that allow for a picture of the future and its possibilities to be negotiated in the present. However, when these forecasts are correct, the future comes about differently because it reacts to these very forecasts. The real future is different from the expected future and holds surprises, even, and especially, for those who have tried to prepare themselves for the various possibilities (section 2). What is the advantage of such trades? Derivatives increase the liquidity of markets – that is, the available future. The number of possibilities to be conceived and dealt with...
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