Caching, Money, Magic, Derivatives, Mana and Modern Finance by Niccolo Caldararo




This paper investigates aspects of economics in the context of animal caching and the nature of investment devices in cross-cultural comparison, placing special attention on the new global issues of money, hedge fund contracts, derivatives and other riskspreading concepts and practices. The function of these are compared to the behavior of the inventors and practitioners in other cultures. Similarities are noted with religious formulators and the process of conversion and the operation of the market and credit paralleled with the concept of Mana. This work provides a context for understanding contemporary human economic behavior. Novel structures of symbolic worth are associated with individual presentation and performance. Clearly concepts of value and credit have been changing in modern financial culture. Indeed, they have been expressing forms that have traditionally been associated with primitive economics. As recruitment activities such behavior takes on similar functions to a number of eusocial animals. Financial behavior then functions in the performance of various strategies in a similar fashion as the “good sense” model of sexual selection of Darwin (1871). Behavioral ecological theory and many economic models derived from this theory are based on optimization and rational decisions, recent research and that contained in this paper undermine such assumptions. An understanding of the current financial and social losses resulting from the subprime collapse is presented along with a means to counter it.


Volume 3 Number 2

  1. Caching, Money, Magic, Derivatives, Mana and Modern Finance
  2. “When earth and sky almost meet”: The conflict between traditional knowledge and modernity in Polynesian navigation
  3. The Archaeological Chess Set

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