ANALYSIS: Maximisation, optimisation and all that [Will Davies]

There’s a compelling notion that, post-financial crisis, economists are turning from ‘physics envy’ to ‘biology envy’. Our economic metaphors have certainly become more vital and ecological: ‘financial contagion’, ‘toxic assets’, ‘systemic risk’. Some have suggested that the regulators of the future will stare at vast fractal diagrams of the financial economy, studying its mutations in real time to assess its overall health.

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