The Code of Capital

The Code of Capital

I enjoyed reading The Code of Capital by Katharina Pistor. I liked this book because it provides what seems like a rare perspective that is required to reveal the DNA of capitalism rather than the more common unintended obfuscation from books that are lacking. A benefit is that emerging technologies related to assets can be considered in a more coherent way and we can see that issues which seem new often resemble those of the past.

For instance, Pistor asks the genesis question:

How should the initial allocation of property rights in the digital world be achieved, and who is in charge?

While my mind somehow retrieves Otisburg, Pistor more helpfully notes:

These are the same questions the commoners disputed with the landlords and the settler challenged the First Peoples about, as discussed in Chapter 2. Ultimately, these issues were resolved by establishing legal priority rights, backed by the coercive powers of the state.

Law relating to capital is often created in private law offices but is dependent on the state for the legal modules used to assemble these legal codes. The most important of these modules are contract law, property rights, collateral law, trust, corporate and bankruptcy law.

These legal codes transform an asset (object, claim, skill or idea) into capital. Because the legal coding gives the asset attributes of priority, durability, universality and convertability, the asset can create wealth for its holder while surviving challenging economic circumstances and externalizing associated risks to others. The book goes into detail as the legal modules are applied to new assets over time.

Following the evolution of these legal codes helped me understand things that had been a mystery to me. I wish I could have read a book like this a long time ago.

Mont Sainte Anne

I enjoyed hiking the “Le Sentier des Pionniers” trail at Mont Sainte Anne today. Definitely ordering pizza tonight.

Betty's Funeral Service

Betty in San Francisco

My mother Betty passed away Friday night and her service is Saturday at 2pm at the Kingwood Funeral Home. This is one of my favorite pictures of her with her mother and my brother David in downtown San Francisco.

Growing up, I always remember that there was a set of golf clubs in the garage but it seemed like they were never used. Luckily, this week, I listened to a Christmas audio message from 1971 that my parents had sent to my grandparents. My mom said that the day before, Baxter had taken her to the golf course at Heather Farm and they golfed nine holes. She said on the first hole, she amused several bystanders trying to get out of the sand trap and they decided to quit keeping score from there. She said she learned golf was not her sport and would find something else. She did find tennis. I was glad to play that sport with her and the family.

Vacciniation Achievement Unlocked

I am grateful and feel fortunate to have received my 2nd Moderna shot today. I hope the vaccinations become more widely available around the world.