The appearance of informal street traders seems to have become a regular feature of contemporary life lately. Here are two from Norfolk - one selling off stock from bankrupt businesses by auction and another selling secondhand books out of a suitcase. I took these on the same day I read a fascinating article by Robert Harris about how Supercomputers are taking most of the decisions in trading shares and commodities. In it he suggests that an absence of human interaction in the trading has created ‘financial weapons of mass destruction’ which initiated the financial meltdown in 2008.
Increasingly in the UK we hear politicians from all sides talking about 'the market' as if it is an angry god who must be appeased, but as Harris warns 'The digitised financial machine does not work for us: we work for the machine. And I do not believe that our political leaders have the faintest idea how to bring it under control'.