The recent enphasis in Performativity of modern Finance is misleading.
In a recent book of Donald Mckenzie ( An engine. Not a Camera ) to which I referedÂ in yesterdayÂ´s article in EXPANSION, he defends the idea that modern Finance, the one that drifts away from Business towards Economics, is performative in the sense that it is not like any other piece of economic theory, which is limited to represent the world, but rather constructs the world. This is the Performativity of modern Finance
This is a very attractive idea; but is not exactly true.
Consider Options. They areÂ well known from the XVII century through the work of Jose de la Vega, a potuguese jew who wrote in spanish “Confusion de Confusiones”.Â I am idebted to Ricardo Lago for this piece of information and I have also learned that one ot he seven existing copies of this book is kept al the Bolsa de Madrid.Â In any case, we could hardly say thatÂ the ideas contained therein actually performed since nothing was constructed upon them for centuries.
The second comment against the easy acceptance of Performativity of modern Finance derives from the obvious fact that there is noÂ easy bridge between theoretical results and the construction of actual financial markets. The idea is indeed usedÂ in bilateral contracts; but it takes time and effort to convert these contracts in a market in which standarized contracts are intermediated.
The possible relation between these two comments and Art is that genuine Art is always classical so to speak and at the same time attuned to its time. The Exhibition at El Prado shows quite clearly that Picasso was a classic painter in spite of the fact thatÂ he twisted representation.