About

My research interests revolve around the system effects of the linkages between markets, organizations and society that have been created by decisions to seek market solutions to political and social problems. More specifically, I’m interested in how organizations and states use markets to attempt to transform and transfer risk, and the consequences of those uses given that markets often send risk back in unpredictable ways.

The name of the blog comes from Judge Frank’s 1947 dissent in the Old Colony Bondholders case:

If however, the Commission is sustained in this case, and, accordingly, behaves similarly in future cases, then its conduct will indeed be a mystery. Its so-called “valuations” will then be acceptable, no matter how contrived. In that event, it would be desirable to abandon the word “valuation” — since that word misleadingly connotes some moderately rational judgment — and to substitute some neutral term, devoid of misleading associations, such as “aluation,” or, perhaps better still, “woosh-woosh.” The pertinent doctrine would then be this: “When the I.C.C. has ceremonially woosh-wooshed, judicial scrutiny is barred.” It would then be desirable to dispense, too, with the Commission’s present ritualistic formula, “Taking into consideration, etc.,”[fn83] replacing it with patently meaningless words —

perhaps the same words spelled backward, (i.e., “Gnikat otni noitaredisnoc, etc.”).[fn84] Then no one would be foolish enough to believe that the figures in a Commission plan necessarily have anything to do with deliberation, but everyone would know that the figures might well have been the product of omphalic inspiration,[fn85] or ornithomancy, or haruspication, or aleatory devices, and that the conclusions of the I.C.C. might well be but the conjurations of mystagogues.[fn86]

h/t to Glenn Greenwald commenter muddy thinking in their comment of June 28, 2010.

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