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Droit, Roger-Pol

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Les Echos - France | 26/11/2008

Roger-Pol Droit on the anchoring of the market

Philosopher Roger-Pol Droit writes in Les Echos newspaper about the concept of the market and how its significance has changed down the centuries with the emergence of financial markets: "'I'd love to go to the black market, if I only knew where it was!' a respectable woman said in France during the occupation, when barter trade was a necessity. What exactly did she mean? Apparently a market is first and foremost a location. A place people can go to. ... In short, a real location where people meet to buy and sell. ... Because the fact is that over the centuries markets became locations where demand and supply met and where prices were determined. ... The development of the stock markets in the 19th and 20th centuries did not alter this anchoring of the markets. On Wall Street or in the City of London ... securities and shares are now traded instead of calves, cattle, pigs and poultry, but people must still meet and prices must be agreed on. ... The global market seems no longer to have a physical location. ... And if no one knows where it is, it is easy to get the impression that the market, how should I put it ... has become black, for example."

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