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The technocratic oath

In his political memoir, Adults In The Room, Yanis Varoufakis recounts a meeting with Larry Summer which took place in April 2015. Only months into his tenure as Finance Minister, he looked to this architect of the neoliberal world order for support as hostilities with European leaders over Greece’s fiscal […]

Cultural representations of finance 

From One Market Under God, by Thomas Frank, loc 2230: For all the revulsion expressed by books like Liar’s Poker and Barbarians at the Gate, the dominant note was starstruck wonderment at these “masters of the universe,” at their millions and their manses, at their Gulfstream jets and Mercedes cars, […]

The defensiveness of contemporary elites 

From The Deep State, by Mike Lofgren, pg 86-87. I’m beginning to try and catalogue public examples of this defensiveness because some of the over-reactions seem fascinatingly unbalanced: It is surprising how much fear his timid policies have generated among the big-money boys. There are no rational grounds for the […]

Why Digitalization is Prior to Financialization

From Rise of the Robots, by Martin Ford, loc 1053-1069: Virtually all of the financial innovations that have arisen in recent decades—including, for example, collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and exotic financial derivatives—would not have been possible without access to powerful computers. Likewise, automated trading algorithms are now responsible for nearly […]

the old world of banking 

From Other People’s Money, by John Kay, loc 244: I was a schoolboy in Edinburgh in the 1960s. The capital of Scotland is Britain’s second financial centre and was the headquarters of two major banks, the Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Banking was then a career […]

the hostage taking capacity of banks 

From Europe Entrapped by Claus Offe, pg 16-17. Recognition of this fact, as well as recognition of its recognition by non-financial agents, needs to underpin any adequate analysis of depoliticisation: Financial institutions are first and foremost debtors , owing assets to myriads of private and public claimants. Therefore, if big […]

the disruption of finance 

From The Big Short by Michael Lewis, pg 172. This is a part of the story of the financial crisis which has received too little attention: ‘innovations’ in finance were driven by the ‘disruption’ the established figures in the industry were subject to as a result of new online competitors: […]

the threats of financial elites 

From Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis, pg 302-303 One of the managing directors from London, who happened to be in New York, actually took me aside to practise an argument he planned to put to the Bank of England. He had calculated the sum of the losses of the banks […]

the threats of financial elites 

From Liar’s Poker by Michael Lewis, pg 302-303 One of the managing directors from London, who happened to be in New York, actually took me aside to practise an argument he planned to put to the Bank of England. He had calculated the sum of the losses of the banks […]