Finance figures prominently in current global predicaments. Rippling outwards from Wall Street, the heart of the financialised global economy, the financial crisis of 2008 took banks, corporations, households, enterprises, and states in its wake, and exposed the intense connections engendered by decades of financialisation. Ten years after the global financial crisis, we are still charting new waters. The economies of the global north have stumbled into historically unprecedented dependence on injections of central bank liquidity. Domestic political volatility and the fracturing of key international alliances such as the EU portend the unintended consequences and turbulent disruptions of financial entanglements. Meanwhile, East Asia’s rapid rise has been propelled by a financialisation with its own instabilities, such as China’s soaring debts in the past decade.
This conference seeks to go beyond the exceptionalist narratives of the 2008 financial crisis, and to draw attention to the social dimensions of financialisation more broadly. We define financialisation as the increasing dependence of social reproduction – at scales from households, cities, and states, to regional economies and global humanity – on financial instruments, credit and debt. While the social forms of this dependence vary hugely, the basic issue of popular indebtedness remains the same. We assume that financialisation is mired in contradictions and that it rarely takes place without contestation. Financialisation affects politics, moral reasoning, and social reproduction, as well as engendering transformations in territories, livelihoods, infrastructures, environments, classes, and global integration.
Source and further information: MPI, Link (16 July 2018)