Some Grist readers in comments seem to think we should ignore the financial aspects of the crisis to focus on the "real economy." The problem is, finance is part of the real economy. Credit was invented before paper currency; there are records of debt in ancient Babylon. Try and imagine life without currency, or checkbooks, let alone without finance. Finance is a very real thing. It is information, and it is also a form of human cooperation -- a way for people who never meet or know of one another's existence to work together. But that doesn't mean people who …
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