Stranded Assets: The Transformation of Economic Values in the 21st Century
Abstracthe extraordinary geological transformation of our planet since 1945, which in a few decades went from the Holocene geological period to a new era of the Anthropocene, was led by 20th century economic progress and in turn has led to an equally momentous transformation of economic values in the 21st century. <br />
This article examines the transformation of economic values from the viewpoint of capitalism, a transformation that is based on changes in three (3) fundamental analytical tools that have pinned down and defined economic value so far: (1) market prices and underlying property rights on natural resources including the key global commons: energy, air, water and biodiversity, (2) the economic notion of "impatience" or discount factors that compare present vs. future values, and (3) the treatment of fundamental uncertainty in decision making including frequent and rare events or "black swans." Stranded assets are viewed from the lens of today's drastic changes in these three (3) economic notions that embody and define economic value and explain optimal economic policies in a period of revolutionary change in values.