Anal

The logic-obsessed captains of finance are leading us astray.

Video still of Mark Carney

Anal Retentive Character: One fixed at the infantile level of psychosexual development, when the libido charges the anus with energy.

People who had problems during this stage later develop “anal” personality traits like orderliness, stubbornness, perfectionism, and an obsessive need for control.

Most of the neoclassically trained economists who have dominated global economic policy-making for the past few generations — from Alan Greenspan to Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Timothy Geithner, Ben Bernanke and now Janet Yellen—have been anal character types (to say nothing of the economic professors and policy analysts around the world). They obsess endlessly over interest rates, money supplies, micro and macro management and quantitative easing strategies — in other words, the ‘excremental’ flows of the global financial system — but to such a degree that they completely miss what’s really going on: namely that climate change is the biggest market failure the world has ever known.

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