The term ‘the markets’ appears as if the markets were divine authorities with their own dignity that decide, sanction and threaten like a godlike power. This extends the standard-economic definition of the market as an egalitarian transaction mechanism under the circumstances of scarcity and competition. We explore and review the historical and theoretical base of this observation. We then analyze quotations on ‘the markets’ from selected media outlets during the economic crisis in 2008. We suggest that referring to “the markets” represents a rhetorically deified, metaphysical entity implying severe moral implications, as certain agents claim to act on behalf of the market, thereby delegating personal responsibility for their actions.
Seele, Peter and Zapf, Lucas
""The Markets Have Decided”: Markets as (Perceived) Deity and Ethical Implications of Delegated Responsibility,"
Journal of Religion and Business Ethics:
Vol. 3, Article 17.
Available at: http://via.library.depaul.edu/jrbe/vol3/iss1/17