Borromean Knot - Real Imaginary Symbolic

The Borromean Knot

Real   Imaginary  Symbolic  ~  The Three Realms (Imaginary) also called Registers (Symbolic)

(click on Knot for Image and Text to appear in full screen)




a small coin, flung on the table.

“Just hear how true it rings. Almost, the same sound as the real one. One would swear it was gold. I was taken in this morning, just as the grocer who passed it on to me had been taken in himself, he told me.  It isn’t quite the same weight, I think, but it has the brightness and the sound of a real piece.  It is coated with gold, so that, all the same, it is worth a little more than two sous, but it’s made of glass.  It’ll wear transparent.  No, don’t rub it, you’ll spoil it.  One can almost see through it, as it is.”

(Symbolist, Author, Nobel Prize winner Andre Gide, 1931, Oedipe, pg.172)



Psychodynamics  ~  Human Energy Systems  ~  Energy Consumption  ~  Neuro Economics  ~  Libidinal Economy  ~  Identity Economics  ~  Behavioural Economics  ~  Object Relations  ~  Consumer Psychology  ~  Intention Economy  ~  Social Capital  ~  Intellectual Capital  ~  Symbolic Capital 


Mariah Carey  ~  Its just a Sweet Fantasy


Emotional Finance

Emotional Finance blog    Emotion and Financial Markets

Professor David Tuckett – UCL Psychoanalysis Centre

Fund Management – An Emotional Finance Perspective


Emotional Finance – Understanding What Drives Investors

Minding the Markets – An Emotional Finance View of Financial Instability

Bubble and Burst: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on The Financial Instability




Behavioural Economics and Behavioural Finance

Cognitive-Behavioural and Mathematical Psychologists –  Professor Amos Tversky  and  Professor Daniel Kahneman

Six years after Amos Tversky’s death in 1996, Daniel Kahneman received the 2002 Nobel Prize in Economics for the life-long work he did in collaboration with his academic partner and best friend Amos Tversky. Together they developed Prospect Theory, which aims to explain irrational human economic choices and is considered one of the seminal works of Behavioural Economics. Their seminal papers include, Judgment under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases (1974)  and  Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision Under Risk (1979).

A selection of articles on Behavioural Finance on the Mindful Money website.

Psychoanalysis Has Met Investing. What Does It Mean For Advisors?




Identity Economics

Identity Economics.org

Video of George Akerlof discussing Identity Economics

George Akerlof & Rachel Kranton  (2010) Identity Economics: How Our Identities Shape Our Work, Wages and Well-Being.




Responsible Capitalism – A Major Policy Conference

15th July 2013, London Stock Exchange, Paternoster Square, London EC4M 7LS.

I really enjoyed the Reforming Capitalism morning conference at the London Stock Exchange today with,

Andrew Haldenby – Director, Reform Think Tank

Rt. Hon Dr. Vince Cable MP – Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Oliver Benzecry – Managing Director for UK and Ireland, Accenture.

Anthony Browne – Chief Executive of the British Banker’s Association.

Dr. Chris Gibson-Smith – Chairman, London Stock Exchange and Chairman of Reform’s Advisory Board.

Michael Izza – Chief Executive Office, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Will Morris – Director of Tax Policy, Chair of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Tax Committee.

James Palmer – Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills Law Firm and Reform Trustee.

Dushy Sivanithy – Principal Member, Responsible Investment Committee, European and Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EPEVCA). 

Quote of the day goes to the Rt. Hon Dr. Vince Cable MP,

“Compared to Politicians, Business people are Angels”.

Change Agents – My notes of the Reforming Capitalism Conference at the London Stock Exchange. 15/07/2013

Community – Ideology, Regulation

Superego = Authority (Science/Art), Law, Ethical Agency (Death Instinct)

Moral side of Capitalism <————————> Technical side of Capitalism

Individual – Virility, Utility

Ego = Executive, Management, Action, Business, Sex. (Life Instinct)

Communities and Industries actually have an interest in individual Self-Regulation.

What does Responsible Capitalism involve?  Adam Smith and Karl Marx provided us with surplus quotes on irresponsible capitalism.  Customers having trust, is that responsible capitalism? Customers having genuine autonomy in buying decisions, is that responsible capitalism? Multinationals, corporations, businesses and customers acknowledging that their financial decision making processes are not autonomous, independent or free, and that they must follow certain socially agreed and sanctioned standards of value and codes of ethical practice and conduct. But if everyone must adhere and conform to the ideal hegemonic discourse i.e. gold standard (money), even the market economy, then what is free or independent? This is where the environmental Climate Change agenda e.g. Sustainable Economics, becomes a collaboration against new competition and innovation/enterprise are sacrificed at its hands. How do we value to Life Drive to create the new? To what extent must we acknowledge that our creativity is limited within the confines (structure) of what our innate personality type (choleric business types, phlegmatic caring types, etc), the family and society says “put your hands on your head”. What are the genuine barriers to growth and competition, within each individual and society, and what growth/innovation/creation is actually copying everyone else and doing what people in positions of authority (scientists/artists) tell us to think/manufacture/build/wear/eat, etc. Statistically, there aren’t that many lactose or wheat or glucose intolerant people in the UK population, so here we see the power and effect of the Oedipus complex, the ‘No’ and ‘Name of the Father’.

1. The Occupy Movement targeting London Stock Exchange as a symbol of what is going wrong with society.  Their perception/view not corresponding with the personal contact Reform members have with business people, who are not destructive, but polite, thoughtful, charitable, hardworking people.  The gulf between Environmental, Social, Liberal and Conservative fantasies of everyday reality, and the evident need of Dissenters to blame and transfer their aggression onto any group they choose to demonise. Conference called as a chance to reassess and redress the balance of perceived right/good and wrong/bad behaviour/conduct in specific professional groups in society.

2. Lack of Trust. Can multinationals be trusted to pay tax? Vince Cable MP used ‘trust’ as his word for the day and asked the audience, “What does trust in a market economy mean?”….. If buying depends on trust in the ‘system’. Trust that the milk we buy is fresh, that the meat we buy is safe to eat, that the clothes we buy have been manufactured in a safe and healthy factory. Trust that bankers in the London Stock Exchange will handle public funds ethically. How can the market be free if the hegemonic ideology i.e. environmentalism, is deemed the only ethical way to think and live, let alone do business. How can innovation and enterprise flourish and competition win, if ethical regulatory agencies dominate and close off all creative potential?

3. Lack of Transparency and Concealing Ownership. There is a need to ‘identify’ owners that are deliberately hidden from public scrutiny. Corporate (and Political) abuses need to be addressed and the system for complaining about managerial/top level misconduct needs to be better known and made more use of. How can the public learn to trust business people in positions of authority, when they reserve the right to retain a certain amount of privacy and refuse to disclose every detail of their finances. How can we increase transparency and shine a light on companies that don’t play by the rules. One solution is having a public and open central Register, where companies disclose information on their subsidiaries. More transparency with the appointing of company directors, so that its possible to ‘identify’ more clearly who is who and their proper place in an organised system, depending on their innate qualities, abilities/disabilities, their acquired knowledge/skills and their level of personality development integration (maturity) or disintegration (immaturity).

4. Lawful Regulation. Solutions to the lack of trust are sought through lawful regulation, but tiers of administrators, managers, governors, consultants, open up and elaborate an oversized management structure that costs a fortune. Are sophisticated ‘independent’ ‘autonomous’ regulatory bodies e.g. NGOs the best way to build trust? Will regulating bodies become, like the social system, another surrogate/substitute (authoritative or passive) parent for people who have not fully individuated and reached normative adult sexual and financial maturity, to depend on. Can issues of governance and ownership of business be simplified and made more clear and transparent? How can we improve corporate governance, when the most ethical/moral structures/communities e.g. law, politics, religion, are the most misused, abused and damaged by accusations of unethical behaviour? “Compared to Politicians, Business people are angels”. ~ Vince Cable How can we learn to identify and prevent the most insecure, immature and needy people being attracted to professional positions of authority, e.g. over 15% of politicians and business leaders being psychopaths.

5. Authority (Father) Complex: a mother, father, elder, doctor, priest, teacher, lawyer, leader, politician, (bank) manager, counsellor, nurse, police officer, fireman, etc., is a figure of authority, knowledge, insight and respect. Dissent and Protest as the most convenient, socially sanctioned medium of exercising the authority complex, transferring psycho-sexual developmental issues of not reaching maturity, onto others in society, e.g. if I am fixated at the ….. level of maturity, everyone else must regress to and become fixated at the same stage of un/development. The socially sanctioned ‘fixation point’ then becomes the ‘ideal’ gold ethical standard, law, structure, mode that will contain thinking, behaviour and codes of conduct, etc. What happens to ‘freedom of thought’ and the conscious thinking function in ideologically repressive controlling societies? If I (Ayla Michelle) am generous enough to concede that some individual consciousness exists, when I don’t actually think it does, unless we are able to admit that individual and social conscious awareness is momentary, transient and continuously evolving. I suppose the fact that I use the word ‘I’ suggests some individual consciousness is there, but that individual consciousness is made by, reflects and copies others in order to form and maintain itself. My own statement  then is, why the hell Liberal and Conservative philosophy ever got so closely tied, needs to be examined. Of course, it is easy to appreciate more aggressive Libertarians exploiting the Conservative Party, but I maintain, Conservatives should have been able to defend their territory and not hand it over wholesale to Libertarians. If anyone has resolved their Oedipus Complex (i.e. Authority Complex) by reaching heterosexual genital maturity through a reciprocal, fair and loving relationship with respect for others and authority, it should be Conservatives, but they opt for immature narcissistic homosexuality instead. (Read my next post on Conservative opposition to the Libertarian ’Same Sex Marriage Bill’ and my clinical Psychoanalytic notes on The Development of Sexuality and Personality)

6. In Western society, the decline of the status of Marriage and of the Family as the first ‘ethical social system/structure’ and also the decline of local community as the secondary containing/holding/supporting structure/system. Failure to negotiate the Authority Complex (Law) in Libertarian communities of Dissent involving a drugs culture, the privileging of challenge and conflict, the rejection of ‘formal’ ‘authority’ social sanctioned structures/systems, dependency on the social system as opposed to dependency on the family, and the wider societal inability to differentiate between healthy and pathological sexuality, community, work, play and society.

7. Institutional Failures: Politics – Media – Education – Medicine.  Very large part played by Politicians and the Mass Media in transmitting the wrong messages. Large part played by educationalists in teaching the wrong theory. Lack of intervention by Politicians, Professors, Journalists, Teachers, Doctors, Analysts, etc.

8. Failure to identify, consider, understand and punish corporate and political (dissenters) misconduct.


Rt. Hon Dr. Vince Cable MP – Responsible Capitalism Speech.

Reform Think Tank – Responsible Capitalism Conference 15/07/2013 at London Stock Exchange, 10 Paternoster Square, London EC4. @reformthinktank  #responsiblecapitalism

Department of Business Innovation & Skills, Discussion Paper. Transparency & Trust: Enhancing the Transparency of UK Company Ownership and Increasing Trust in UK Business. July 2013



When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence

Bizarre, I walked in late the very moment Stephen started speaking about Freud.  That’s what Lacanian psychoanalysts call Logical Time, like in Reality.  This is an excellent application of Psychoanalytic theory to Economics by Stephen King in his new book When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence (2013).  Here’s a transcript of some of his talk at the Policy Exchange on 22/05/2013.  You can see me sitting in the front row. Gosh, not sure about my new 1920s hair style, I always meet new people when I look a right state.

So what I’ll argue is this, that over the last ten, fifteen, twenty years, we’ve happily assumed that living standards will continuously increase. We’ve happily assumed that because of that (continuous growth), we can afford all sorts of things associated with both the public and private sector, that are only the result of success. But as a consequence of the success not really materializing, we’re left with a significant gap between what you might describe as the hoax contained within our political rights and our financial pieces of paper that are our claims of future activity. A gap between those rights and entitlements, compared with the economic ‘reality’ we now see.  In the book, I summarise this in a few sentences, for which I shall almost certainly need to wear my glasses to read out.  This is how I felt about it when I was writing the book, I wrote that,

We began to extrapolate economic gains into the future, we began to believe that economies free of excessive government interference could happily expand, over the years delivering higher incomes for all.  We were so confident in continued economic progress that we could be educated yesterday, consume today, retire tomorrow, have excellent health care the next day, and create a better life for our children, while at the same time saving very little.  Capital markets would take care of everything, returns would always be high enough to allow us to fulfil our whims, sacrifice was unnecessarily.  We could borrow from others, foreigners, our children and invest their money wisely for our collective benefit.  And if we were lucky enough to have some savings, we could invest them all over the world, but with returns sufficiently high to guarantee our own financial futures and the financial futures of those who benefitted from our generosity.  We hadn’t just mastered the economies, we had mastered time itself.

Now, this creates a big problem because if you really believed that sort of thing, a few years back, it certainly isn’t true anymore.  And what it invokes is actually an issue that Adam Smith raised so many hundreds of years ago, where he described three separate states of the economy.  These states were admirably lacking in econometric definitions, he simply referred to the,

  • Progressive State
  • Dull State
  • Melancholy State

Which in modern day language you’d think of as being,

  • Continued Economic Expansion
  • Stagnation
  • Contraction or Recession

The reason why these two states are dull and melancholy, is because in the stagnant and contracting world, you suddenly find that one person’s gain, is potentially another person’s loss.  You end up with a much more kind of zero sum world.  It begins to create political strains.  It begins to create uncertainties.  It begins to create slowly a breakdown of trust and with an absence of trust, markets themselves simply can’t work as efficiently as they had been used to over previous decades.  Of course, if markets aren’t working well, the stagnation gradually gets locked in and if stagnation gets locked in, the promise that had been made to ourselves cannot be met and the mistrust gets bigger and bigger and bigger.

And this is particularly acute, I would suggest, in countries with relatively high levels of income inequality.  So in the book, I refer to two twentieth century stories.  Japan, which has really coped quite well from its stagnation over the last twenty years.  And Argentina, which has done a whole lot less well.  Partly because when it started to stagnant in the post war period, it was associated already with incredibly high levels of income inequality.  I note this because, when we look around the world today, particularly in the US and the UK, levels of income inequality are very very high indeed and as a consequence, those issues about trust become more difficult and the ability to reform becomes more difficult, because there’s always a sense that somehow someone will lose out in the initial stages from that particular reform.  So we don’t like the idea of reform because its too painful, its too difficult, so we choose not to reform, we choose to do something else and we end up with what Sigmund Freud was particularly attached to.  For those of you who haven’t looked at some of his stuff, he wrote this book called The Future of an Illusion (1927), which was an illusion referring to religious illusion.  Really, trying to ask the question, why was it that people believed in God in the first place?  What on earth were they doing, because he himself didn’t believe in God, so what was the justification for it.  This brings me onto the precise definition he used, Freud said that,

“We call a belief an illusion, when wish fulfilment is a prominent factor in its motivation, while disregarding its relations to reality.”  (Freud, 1927, p.30, Vol. 21, S.E.)

What I’d like to argue here is that when it comes to policy makers today, there’s a great deal of this kind of belief associated with wish-fulfilment, a desire to make sure that things actually do improve, or hope that they improve, because the alternative is just so painful.  So what we have effectively, when it comes to policy and stimulus, is what I’d call the theological option, which has now been adopted, where policy makers simply pray for a strong recovery.  Unfortunately their prayers as yet haven’t properly been answered. ….. Etc.


Adam Smith (1776) ‘Of the Wages of Labour’, Chapter 8 in, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations. Book 1. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Sigmund Freud (1927) The Future of an Illusion. Vol. 21, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.

Stephen King (2013) When the Money Runs Out: The End of Western Affluence. Yale University Press, London.



Progressive Capitalism

Lord David Sainsbury on Progressive Capitalism  (15.05.2013)

Podcast of Lord Sainsbury talking about Progressive Capitalism at the LSE (20.05.2013)

Progressive Capitalism by David Sainsbury: A New Centre Ground is Being Forged. New Statesman book review by Andrew Adonis (04.05.2013)

David Sainsbury (2013) ‘The End of Neoliberalism’, Chapter 1 in, Progressive Capitalism: How to Achieve Economic Growth, Liberty and Social Justice. Biteback Publishing.