Note — Apr 24, 2022

A World Where Finance Is Democratic

One reason I read this one instead of waiting after my Sentiers reading/writing session was that it looked like an intriguing finance article, keeping this issue a bit broader than futures… but it begins and ends with a speculative exercise! 🤣

Regardless, it’s a good mini fiction and the rest of this piece by Michael A. McCarthy for Noema is an excellent outline of why democratizing finance through the use of deliberative minipublics would be a great type of structure and process to establish. He does so with clear arguments, but also by showing point by point what’s wrong with the existing financing system, and why DeFi and Web3 are not the solutions. (Only caveat: the extraneous use of the title of “futurist” for anyone working looking ahead.)

But when it comes to the proliferation of copycat NFT launches, at a certain point you are no longer buying Duchamp’s readymade sculpture “Fountain,” you are just buying an overpriced urinal. […]

Therefore, a key principle for subjecting circuits of finance to democratic processes is in creating centralized institutions of finance that are the subject of democratic deliberation, participation and decision-making. […]

Therefore, deliberative minipublics can be a better source of improved knowledge for the population than typical party signaling or interest group messaging. Not only do they create a space for thoughtful deliberation about investing for the public good, they both inform broader public opinion and operate with some legitimacy because they are composed not of interest groups, but of peers.