By M. Haiven

ISBN-10: 1137355972

ISBN-13: 9781137355973

ISBN-10: 134947035X

ISBN-13: 9781349470358

Drawing on quite a lot of case stories, Cultures of Financialization argues that, in our age of obstacle, the worldwide economic climate is extra invested than ever in tradition and the mind's eye. We needs to take the belief of 'fictitious capital' heavily with a view to comprehend the ability of finance, and what can be performed to forestall it.

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Extra resources for Cultures of Financialization: Fictitious Capital in Popular Culture and Everyday Life

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As long as all the capitalists did not seek to claim the real surplus value at once, the fictitious capital could continue to function and could, in fact, “double and triple” as promises built upon promises. Should they all attempt to exchange their fictitious capital for the assets for the material wealth or productive capacity it claims to represent, this would lead to a crisis. The full consequences can perhaps only be seen today, when, before the financial crisis, the total circulating value of over-the-counter derivatives contracts was estimated to be at least 70 times the total planet’s gross domestic product, and when in one day the volume of speculative currency transfers alone equalled the world’s annual economic output (Foster and Magdoff 2010, 58).

These are the fictions that operate within and among the institutional cultures of Wall Street and other financial institutions, but the fictions of financialization also help reproduce a culture of debt, consumerism, leveraged precariousness and securitization on the level of daily life and cultural narrative. Third, fictitious capital, in terms of the financial apparatus which both measures and disciplines the global economy, is itself a social fiction, a way of telling a story about the nature and the global circulation of value that, in turn, shapes those processes.

But, as we have seen in the case of metaphor, just because finance is incorrect in the way it represents value does not mean it is not useful. The financial system acts, in Harvey’s (2006, 270–271) terms, as a central nervous system for the capitalist economy, both interpreting price signals across an increasingly integrated global market and disciplining global actors. As Lazzarato (2012) notes, the sum effect of this is biopolitical: it serves to shape subjects and institutions and punish them if they fail to live up to the dictates or ideals of an increasingly neoliberal form of capitalism.

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Cultures of Financialization: Fictitious Capital in Popular Culture and Everyday Life by M. Haiven


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