Rana Foroohar writes in The Financial Times today, “I think we are now at a tipping-point away from what… Michael Masters calls the cult of efficiency.”
Michael Masters is the founder of Better Markets and a former commodities trader who gave a landmark 2008 Senate testimony on how the financialisation of things such as food and oil can lead to rising inequality and social unrest in the real world.
Masters, one of the most astute observers of financialisation, points out that efficiency should be only one goal for markets and policymakers; robustness and justice should be two others.
One has only to think of a pre-Covid disaster such as, for example, the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, to realise that things that look “efficient” on the balance sheet of a chief financial officer in a corner office in some rich country may be neither robust nor just. Efficiency can bring fragility.