LONOND, UK: The stage is set: two chairs, bottles of water, a flute, a guitar an an unnamable instrument yet to be unveiled. The gentleman behind me notices the instruments on stage and comments, “What are those doing up there?” He clearly hasn’t done his pre-reading on the main attraction: Jaron Lanier.
“To my mind an overleveraged unsecured mortgage is exactly the same thing as a pirated music file. It’s somebody’s value that’s been copied many times to give benefit to some distant party. In the case of the music files, it’s to the benefit of an advertising spy like Google [which monetizes your search history], and in the case of the mortgage, it’s to the benefit of a fund manager somewhere. But in both cases all the risk and the cost is radiated out toward ordinary people and the middle classes—and even worse, the overall economy has shrunk in order to make a few people more.”