Visit our Christmas Gift Finder
Banking on Words: The Failure of Language in the Age of Derivative Finance (Hardback)
  • Banking on Words: The Failure of Language in the Age of Derivative Finance (Hardback)
zoom

Banking on Words: The Failure of Language in the Age of Derivative Finance (Hardback)

(author)
£50.50
Hardback 176 Pages / Published: 15/12/2015
  • Not available

This product is currently unavailable.

  • This item has been added to your basket
In this provocative look at one of the most important events of our time, renowned scholar Arjun Appadurai argues that the economic collapse of 2008-while indeed spurred on by greed, ignorance, weak regulation, and irresponsible risk-taking-was, ultimately, a failure of language. To prove this sophisticated point, he takes us into the world of derivative finance, which has become the core of contemporary trading and the primary target of blame for the collapse and all our subsequent woes. With incisive argumentation, he analyzes this challengingly technical world, drawing on thinkers such as J. L. Austin, Marcel Mauss, and Max Weber as theoretical guides to showcase the ways language-and particular failures in it-paved the way for ruin. Appadurai moves in four steps through his analysis. In the first, he highlights the importance of derivatives in contemporary finance, isolating them as the core technical innovation that markets have produced. In the second, he shows that derivatives are essentially written contracts about the future prices of assets-they are, crucially, a promise. Drawing on Mauss's The Gift and Austin's theories on linguistic performatives, Appadurai, in his third step, shows how the derivative exploits the linguistic power of the promise through the special form that money takes in finance as the most abstract form of commodity value. Finally, he pinpoints one crucial feature of derivatives (as seen in the housing market especially): that they can make promises that other promises will be broken. He then details how this feature spread contagiously through the market, snowballing into the systemic liquidity crisis that we are all too familiar with now. With his characteristic clarity, Appadurai explains one of the most complicated-and yet absolutely central-aspects of our modern economy. He makes the critical link we have long needed to make: between the numerical force of money and the linguistic force of what we say we will do with it.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226318639
Number of pages: 176
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 231 x 155 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
In Banking on Words, Arjun Appadurai sets out his understanding of how anthropology can help analyze the ever-growing importance of the global financial market as an economic system and cultural field... it is a collection of theoretical elaborations that aim to give a genuinely anthropological interpretation of derivatives and the financial crisis that started in 2007... With this book, Appadurai confirms his status as one of the truly original thinkers of our time. His aim to bring the notion of spirit back to anthropological work on the financial markets is spot-on and truly needed.
--Stefan Leins "Anthropos "

You may also be interested in...

Introduction to Game Theory
Added to basket
Small Is Beautiful
Added to basket
Development as Freedom
Added to basket
The Wealth of Nations
Added to basket
The Wealth of Nations
Added to basket
Capital
Added to basket
£3.99
Paperback
The Theory of Moral Sentiments
Added to basket
A Brief History of Neoliberalism
Added to basket
The Essential Keynes
Added to basket
Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction
Added to basket
Keynes Hayek
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
The Wealth of Nations
Added to basket
The Worldly Philosophers
Added to basket

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.