Who am I?

Paul Jorion  is, since March 1, 2016, Associate Professor of the Faculties of the Catholic University of Lille. He is also a columnist for Le Monde, L’Écho and Trends magazine. He was a member of the High Committee for the Future of the Belgian Financial Sector and of the Reflection Group on the Positive Economy led by Jacques Attali. He graduated in sociology and social anthropology (PhD in Social Sciences from the Université Libre de Bruxelles): he was the student in Paris of Claude Lévi-Strauss (Collège de France) and the mathematician Georges-Théodule Guilbaud (École Pratique des Hautes Études) and in Cambridge of Meyer Fortes and Sir Edmund Leach, both students of Bronislaw Malinowski, the founding father of British social anthropology. He also trained as a psychoanalyst (Freudian and Lacanian) with the Jesuit psychoanalyst and philosopher Philippe Julien.

Jorion taught social anthropology at the universities of Brussels (1977/79), Cambridge (1979/84), and at the University of California at Irvine where he was Regents Lecturer (1997), and at Paris VIII (1985/86) where he taught psychoanalysis. He solved at this time, in collaboration with Sir Edmund Leach and two mathematicians (Elaine Lally and Gisèle De Meur), two enigmas in kinship algebra: the cases of the Pende of Kasai (DRC) and the Australian Murngin.

Jorion was also a United Nations (FAO) official involved in development projects in Africa (1984/87). He was a researcher and developer in Artificial Intelligence as a member of the British Telecom Connex project (1987/90), during which he developed the ANELLA software (Associative Network with Emergent Logical and Learning Abilities) whose originality resided in a memory model animated by an emotional dynamics operating on a universe of lexicon words, in a perspective inspired by his psychoanalytical training.

Jorion worked (1998/2007) in the US banking industry as a pricing specialist. He had previously traded futures in a French bank (1990/91). He has published a book in English on the impact of the Enron bankruptcy on the stock markets: Investing in a Post-Enron World (McGraw-Hill 2003). He played a pioneering role in the development of high frequency trading (at the Bank of the European Union in Paris, then at Frontier & Cos. in Houston, Texas), as well as the development of the e-MITS software, a fully automated home loan allocation system for the Californian bank IndyMac (1998/2002).

In The Crisis of American Capitalism (La Découverte 2007), Jorion was one of the very few to predict a major financial and economic crisis that originated in the US subprime housing loan market. He then enjoyed instant fame.

In L’argent, mode d’emploi (Fayard 2009), Jorion worked, in a detailed presentation, to dismantle and refute the myth of money created ex nihilo by commercial banks.

In How Truth and Reality Were Invented (Gallimard 2009), Jorion, drawing on the history of science, drew a detailed portrait of the appearance of these two concepts in the history of humankind.

In Thinking Aloud the Economy Along With Keynes (Odile Jacob 2015), after presenting the works of the British economist, Jorion tried to complete his endeavor where his theorizing seemed poorly supported, especially when explaining the formation of interest rates.

In 2017, in Towards a New World (La Renaissance du Livre) Jorion presented a comprehensive political programme, the highlights of which were his proposal for a “Sismondi” tax on machine productivity (which the press had popularized as the “robot-tax”), as well as an in-depth project of essentials being free of charge.

In What’s the Point of Thinking in the Time of the Great Collapse? (Fayard 2017), a book of interviews with Frank Cormerais and Jacques Athanase Gilbert, Jorion answered questions from these two French academics, close to the philosopher Bernard Stiegler, about his most original contributions in the fields of economics (the resurrection of the Aristotle model of price formation and its updating in the contemporary world), psychology (a model of consciousness as an ancillary mechanism of memory), philosophy of science (a hypothesis relating to the difference between Western and Eastern thoughts based on different types of chaining of ideas), as well as, in general, on the role he personally played in the extension of digital techniques and their interpretation.

In Le dernier qui s’en va éteint la lumière (Fayard 2016) and Défense et illustration du genre humain (Fayard 2018), Jorion considered the possible extinction of our species and reviewed the means to be mobilized for an indispensable start, proposing on this occasion an in-depth analysis of the transhumanist ideology.

pauljorion@gmail.com

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