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  Subjects -> SOCIOLOGY (Total: 553 journals)
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Finance and Society
Number of Followers: 4  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2059-5999
Published by U of Edinburgh Journal Hosting Service Homepage  [21 journals]
  • Who owes' Class struggle, inequality and the political economy of
           leverage in the twenty-first century

    • Authors: Stefano Sgambati
      Pages: 1 - 21
      Abstract: The prevalent consensus in critical social sciences is that finance articulates the world economy as a global hierarchy of creditor-debtor relations that reproduce and further aggravate existing income and wealth inequalities. Class struggle is correspondingly understood as a conflict between elite creditors, who are members of the global top 1% of wealth holders, and mass debtors, who are burdened by growing costs of servicing public and private debts. This article offers an alternative understanding of how debt, inequality and class relate to one another. At its basis is the recognition that over the past four decades, finance has empowered upper class borrowers, including the top 1%, as it has magnified their capacity to generate capital gains and capture greater wealth and income shares via levered-up investments and other forms of positioning in financial and property markets. The article thus provides a political economy of leverage as power, showing how contemporary global finance has not given shape to a distributional conflict between creditors and debtors as two distinct classes, but instead has set debtors against debtors, and namely the greater borrowers against the lesser ones.
      PubDate: 2022-04-22
      DOI: 10.2218/finsoc.7115
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
  • Arbitrage power and the disappearing financialized firm

    • Authors: Ronen Palan, Richard Phillips
      Pages: 22 - 41
      Abstract: Modern corporations have increasingly been adopting a decentred, layered, and multi-jurisdictional form as a strategy of boundary manipulation known amongst tax lawyers and accountants as ‘regulatory arbitrage’. The argument we put forward in this article is that the scholarly work that treats these strategies as mere tax avoidance practices has contributed to an underestimation and misrecognition of the way contemporary multinationals operate in markets. These strategies, which we explain in terms of arbitrage power, exploit the difference between exchanges in an imaginary ‘smooth’ market of the economic textbook and a global market that is divided among legal authorities, each imposing their own rules, regulations, and taxations. Arbitrage power exploits differences between the location of market exchange and the location of the registration of property title transfers, combining this with a manipulation of formal systems for recognizing business enterprises in order to escape some or all the rules and regulations of society. The result is a marked difference between the ‘brochure multinational’, the way multinationals are seen and presented in their glossy brochures, and the way multinationals are legally and practically organized nowadays.
      PubDate: 2022-04-25
      DOI: 10.2218/finsoc.7125
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
  • Bitcoin and stone money: Anglophone use of Yapese economic cultures,

    • Authors: Jo Lindsay Walton
      Pages: 42 - 66
      Abstract: Recently parallels have been drawn between Bitcoin and Yapese stone money. This article focuses on Fitzpatrick and McKeon’s (2019) exploration of similarities and differences. The analogy between Bitcoin and Yapese stone money is based on proposed commonalities that are inaccurate, ill-defined, and/or trivial. However, this does not signal a need to refine the comparison, but rather a need to reconsider the rationale for attempting it in the first place. Recent attempts to redefine Yapese stone money using terminology from the field of cryptocurrency reproduces a longer textual history in which writers from the Global North have misrepresented Yap for pedagogic or polemic convenience. Examples include works by William Furness III, John Maynard Keynes, Milton Friedman, and influential macroeconomics textbooks, such as N. Gregory Mankiw’s Macroeconomics. This history features frequent colonialist tropes of Yap as well as the erasure of histories of colonial violence and power. More caution should be exercised in the study and pedagogic use of Yapese economic cultures, and greater effort should be made to center Yapese voices, acknowledge colonial contexts, and reflect positionality and uncertainty.
      PubDate: 2022-04-25
      DOI: 10.2218/finsoc.7126
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
  • The market and the masses: From chaotic corners to social media (re)tail

    • Authors: Kristian Bondo Hansen
      Pages: 67 - 77
      Abstract: In this essay, I examine and discuss the relationship between the market and the masses in light of recent retail-driven surges in the stock prices of firms like GameStop and AMC. Using two historical snapshots, I draw out similarities and differences between the way the collective power and rationality (or lack thereof) of the masses was portrayed in late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century market literature and in recent debates about retail investor inclusion and social media or social trading platform-driven market volatility. The main difference between the historical discourse and the present situation is that the new digital market-expanding technologies enable effective retail investor mobilization and thus, increase the retail swarms’ market-moving powers, which were previously less agile and forceful. However, this eased and widened market access also transforms digital life into alternative data that is subjected to age-old strategies of market exploitation.
      PubDate: 2022-04-25
      DOI: 10.2218/finsoc.7127
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
  • Ira Oscar Glick: At the crossroads of the sociologies of financial markets

    • Authors: Tom Duterme
      Pages: 78 - 84
      Abstract: This review essay looks at the plurality of research conducted today in the sociology of financial markets by examining a pioneering and little-known study – the PhD thesis of Ira Oscar Glick. It is indeed possible to find in this 1957 thesis some insights that are later solidified by several contemporary lines of research in the sociology of financial markets (new economic sociology, science and technology studies, gender studies, Bourdieusian sociology, ethnomethodology, the economics of conventions). This rediscovery of a key author in the history of the field may lead us to reconsider his legacy and delve into a landmark work that potentially still harbors unexplored insights capable of opening up new avenues for research.
      PubDate: 2022-04-25
      DOI: 10.2218/finsoc.7128
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
  • Re-Skilling: Enron and the white- collarization and financialization of
           the energy industry

    • Authors: Nina Eichacker
      Pages: 85 - 88
      Abstract: In Risk and Ruin, Gavin Benke argues that we ignore Enron’s history and failures to our peril. The book provides a readable account that includes lots of rich history, institutional detail, and salacious anecdotes, making a convincing case for Enron as a harbinger of financial, environmental, and production crises yet to come in the first decades of the twenty-first century.
      PubDate: 2022-04-25
      DOI: 10.2218/finsoc.7129
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
  • The rise of European development banking

    • Authors: Todd Tucker
      Pages: 89 - 92
      Abstract: Hidden in plain sight, courtesy of new and rebooted national development banks (NDBs), a robust and expansive suite of industrial policy practices has emerged across Europe. In The Reinvention of Development Banking in the European Union, editors Daniel Mertens, Matthias Thiemann, and Peter Volberding treat readers to a treasure trove of 12 chapters studying 27 NDBs with a combined balance sheet of 1.53 trillion euros, or about 4.6 percent of the total European banking system.
      PubDate: 2022-04-25
      DOI: 10.2218/finsoc.7130
      Issue No: Vol. 8, No. 1 (2022)
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