This recent LRB piece by Donald MacKenzie is really worthwhile reading. Apart from providing a nicely pedagogical explanation of what credit derivatives and asset-backed securities do, it exposes some most curious features of contemporary financial capitalism: it’s about how serious financiers might be about the end of finance.

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  1. panik

    Briliant piece as usual by MacKenzie.

    Talking about how serious financiers might be about the end of finance, George Soros in his interview with the BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/2008/04/soros_and_schwarzman_speak.html) appears to be quite serious about it. (or is this just about the end of economics?!)

    He doesn’t use the word ‘performativity’ as such but I am sure he has read MacKenzie!

  2. panik

    Apologies, the correct link to the sound file for the interview is:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/ram/today5_soros_20080520.ram

  3. panik,

    That’s a great interview, thanks.

    Soros has another, very gentle word to talk about this sort of things (“reflexivity”).

  4. panik

    I guess it is inevitable that he carries some LSE bagage!

    It is quite easy to start from gentle ideas of reflexivity and after spending a lot of time trying to understand such processes and mechanisms end-up somewhere in the vicinity of performativity.

    All this has left me wondering how long before fund managers start posting on SSFN trying to recruit people!

    Although he is denounced in right wing and neocon circles as (inonicaly given his perosonal histoy) a raving socialist/anti-capitalists, he still keeps on bringing in the money.




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