What is the relationship between the financial system and politics? In a democratic system, what kind of control should elected governments have over the financial markets? What policies should be implemented to regulate them? What is the role played by different elites - financial, technocratic, and political - in the operation and regulation of the financial system? And what role should citizens, investors, and savers play? These are some of the questions addressed in this challenging analysis of the particular features of the contemporary capitalist economy in Britain, the USA, and Western Europe. The authors argue that the causes of the financial crisis lay in the bricolage and innovation in financial markets, resulting in long chains and circuits of transactions and instruments that enabled bankers to earn fees, but which did not sufficiently take into account system risk, uncertainty, and unintended consequences. In the wake of the crisis, the authors argue that social scientists, governments, and citizens need to re-engage with the political dimensions of financial markets.
This book offers a controversial and accessible exploration of the disorders of our financial capitalism and its justifications. With an innovative emphasis on the economically 'undisclosed' and the political 'mystifying', it combines technical understanding of finance, cultural analysis, and al political account of interests and institutions.
This book is written by an interdisciplinary team based at the ESRC funded Centre for Research on Socio Cultural change at the University of Manchester. The authors are collectively best known for their pioneering work on financialization including team written books such as J. Froud et al, Financialization and Strategy (2006), I Erturk et al, Financialization at Work (2008) and M. Savage and K. Williams, Elites Remembered (2008). Several of the authors also publish individually within their disciplines with books such as M. Moran, The British Regulatory State (2007) and Business, Politics, and Society (2009). Ewald Engelen is Professor of Financial Geography at the University of Amsterdam. Ismail Erturk is Senior Lecturer in Innovation, Management, and Policy at the Manchester Business School Julie Froud is Professor of Financial Innovation at Manchester Business School Sukhdev Johal is Reader in Strategy and Business Analysis, Royal Holloway Adam Leaver is Lecturer in Business Analysis, Manchester Business School Michael Moran is WJM MacKenzie Professor, the University of Manchester Adriana Nilsson, Post Doctoral Fellow, Manchester Business School Karel Williams, Professor of Accounting and Political Economy, Manchester Business School
INTRODUCTION ; SECTION I: NOT AS IT SEEMS : FINANCIAL INNOVATION AND THE UNDISCLOSED ; SECTION 2: BEYOND DEMOCRATIC CONTROL? MYSTIFIED POLITICS BEFORE AND AFTER THE CRISIS ; CONCLUSION