Justin Desautels-Stein, ‘The Market as a Legal Concept’

In the wake of the recent financial crisis of 2008, and in the run-up to what some are calling a perfect fiscal storm, there is no shortage of commentary on the need for fundamental market reform. Though there are certainly disagreements about where the real problems are and what to do, almost all the commentary remains wedded to an old and entirely false image of “free competition.” Of course, there is hardly consensus about whether markets require the heavy hand of regulative control, or are better left to regulate themselves, but a belief in the distinction between these two images — competition and control — is common ground. Unfortunately for all of us, this ground is a mirage. The idea of a pre-legal, “self-regulating” market has always been, and still is, a deep and abiding fiction …

Desautels-Stein, Justin, The Market as a Legal Concept (April 16, 2012). Buffalo Law Review Vol. 60, p. 387 (2012).

First posted 2012-04-19 07:10:00

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