Junius, among others, spotted the same article as me in today’s Guardian about the Enron episode, and a rather good and thoughtful one it is too (although frankly, the reference to Wittgenstein is a bit forced) But the real gold strike is the webpage of the bloke who wrote it, Donald Mackenzie, who is (it sez ‘ere) a Professor of Sociology at Edinburgh University. You wouldn’t think that an article entitled “An Equation and its Worlds: Bricolage, Exemplars, Disunity and Performativity in Financial Economics” would be any good, but actually it is. Also the best account of the LTCM affair I’ve seen, plus an extremely good paper on the sociology of financial markets which demonstrates the massive quality gap between the “behavioural finance” crowd in economics and proper sociologists who do fieldwork and everything. Science studies at its best, applied to economics, and he’s clearly actually looked at the financial economics literature before taking it on (fans of Andrei Shleifer’s Clarendon Lectures “Inefficient Markets” will be very interested).
A clearer candidate for a Houblon-Norman Fellowship I could not think of, by the way.
Health Warning: If you read all those papers at one sitting, they get a bit repetitive …