Anat Rosenberg, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC), Herzliyah-Radzyner School of Law, has published The Realism of the Balance Sheet: Value Assessments between the Debtors Act and the Picture of Dorian Gray at 2 Critical Analysis of Law 363 (2015). Here is the abstract.
This essay examines English parliamentary debates about consumers’ financial means in the context of the 1869 Debtors Act, which oversaw working-class imprisonment for debt. Debates reveal a shift in the financial epistemology favored by participants, from a view of means based on what I term social credit, to a view of means based on a balance sheet paradigm. The rise and naturalization of the balance-sheet paradigm was both interrogated and challenged by one of the era’s most controversial texts, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. I rely on the novel to examine the deep implications of the shift for the history of consumption, and to recall the drama it involved.Download the article from SSRN at the link.