Financialization: An Introduction

Authored by: Philip Mader , Daniel Mertens , Natascha van der Zwan

The Routledge International Handbook of Financialization

Print publication date:  February  2020
Online publication date:  February  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138308213
eBook ISBN: 9781315142876
Adobe ISBN:


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In countries across Asia, variations on a parable are told. A group of blind men encounter an elephant and, having never “seen” one before, one boldly reaches out, feels the elephant’s leg, and tells the others that it is very much like a tree. A second touches its side, and reports that the elephant is, in fact, quite like a wall; a third touches the trunk and finds it is a big snake; another touches the tail (a rope); another its tusk (a spear); and so on. Depending on the variant, the parable ends either with the blind men disagreeing about the nature of the beast, perhaps even coming to blows over it, or with them wisely conferring on what they have learned, understanding that each was only partially correct, and recognizing that only together could they fully comprehend the beast.

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