logo for The Ohio State University Press
The Ohio State University Press, 1997

front cover of Capitalizing on Crisis
Capitalizing on Crisis
The Political Origins of the Rise of Finance
Greta R. Krippner
Harvard University Press, 2011

In the context of the recent financial crisis, the extent to which the U.S. economy has become dependent on financial activities has been made abundantly clear. In Capitalizing on Crisis, Greta Krippner traces the longer-term historical evolution that made the rise of finance possible, arguing that this development rested on a broader transformation of the U.S. economy than is suggested by the current preoccupation with financial speculation.

Krippner argues that state policies that created conditions conducive to financialization allowed the state to avoid a series of economic, social, and political dilemmas that confronted policymakers as postwar prosperity stalled beginning in the late 1960s and 1970s. In this regard, the financialization of the economy was not a deliberate outcome sought by policymakers, but rather an inadvertent result of the state’s attempts to solve other problems. The book focuses on deregulation of financial markets during the 1970s and 1980s, encouragement of foreign capital into the U.S. economy in the context of large fiscal imbalances in the early 1980s, and changes in monetary policy following the shift to high interest rates in 1979.

Exhaustively researched, the book brings extensive new empirical evidence to bear on debates regarding recent developments in financial markets and the broader turn to the market that has characterized U.S. society over the last several decades.


front cover of A Critical History of Poverty Finance
A Critical History of Poverty Finance
Colonial Roots and Neoliberal Failures
Pluto Press, 2022

A comprehensive historical tracing of how the contemporary finance-poverty-development nexus emerged.

'The definitive account of the history of poverty finance' - Susanne Soederberg

Finance, mobile, and digital technologies - or 'fintech' - are being heralded in the world of development by the likes of the IMF and World Bank as a silver bullet in the fight against poverty. But should we believe the hype?

A Critical History of Poverty Finance demonstrates how newfangled 'digital financial inclusion' efforts suffer from the same essential flaws as earlier iterations of neoliberal 'financial inclusion.' Relying on artificially created markets that simply aren't there among the world's most disadvantaged economic actors, they also reinforce existing patterns of inequality and uneven development, many of which date back to the colonial era.

Bernards offers an astute analysis of the current fintech fad, contextualized through a detailed colonial history of development finance, that ultimately reveals the neoliberal vision of poverty alleviation for the pipe dream it is.


front cover of Financial Derivatives and the Globalization of Risk
Financial Derivatives and the Globalization of Risk
Edward LiPuma and Benjamin Lee
Duke University Press, 2005
The market for financial derivatives is far and away the largest and most powerful market in the world, and it is growing exponentially. In 1970 the yearly valuation of financial derivatives was only a few million dollars. By 1980 the sum had swollen to nearly one hundred million dollars. By 1990 it had climbed to almost one hundred billion dollars, and in 2000 it approached one hundred trillion. Created and sustained by a small number of European and American banks, corporations, and hedge funds, the derivatives market has an enormous impact on the economies of nations—particularly poorer nations—because it controls the price of money. Derivatives bought and sold by means of computer keystrokes in London and New York affect the price of food, clothing, and housing in Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, and Buenos Aires. Arguing that social theorists concerned with globalization must familiarize themselves with the mechanisms of a world economy based on the rapid circulation of capital, Edward LiPuma and Benjamin Lee offer a concise introduction to financial derivatives.

LiPuma and Lee explain how derivatives are essentially wagers—often on the fluctuations of national currencies—based on models that aggregate and price risk. They describe how these financial instruments are changing the face of capitalism, undermining the power of nations and perpetrating a new and less visible form of domination on postcolonial societies. As they ask: How does one know about, let alone demonstrate against, an unlisted, virtual, offshore corporation that operates in an unregulated electronic space using a secret proprietary trading strategy to buy and sell arcane financial instruments? LiPuma and Lee provide a necessary look at the obscure but consequential role of financial derivatives in the global economy.


front cover of Financing Low Income Communities
Financing Low Income Communities
Julia Sass Rubin
Russell Sage Foundation, 2007
Access to capital and financial services is crucial for healthy communities.  However, many impoverished individuals and neighborhoods are routinely ignored by mainstream financial institutions.  This neglect led to the creation of community development financial institutions (CDFIs), which provide low-income communities with financial services and act as a conduit to conventional financial organizations and capital markets. Edited by Julia Sass Rubin, Financing Low-Income Communities brings together leading experts in the field to assess what we know about the challenges of bringing financial services and capital to poor communities, map out future lines of research, and propose policy reforms to make these efforts more effective. The contributors to Financing Low-Income Communities distill research on key topics related to community development finance. Daniel Schneider and Peter Tufano examine the obstacles that make saving and asset accumulation difficult for low-income households—such as the fact that tens of millions of low-income and minority adults don't have a bank account—and consider solutions, like making it easier for low-wage workers to enroll in 401(K) plans. Jeanne Hogarth, Jane Kolodinksy, and Marianne Hilgert review evidence showing that community-based financial education programs can be effective in changing families' saving and budgeting patterns.  Lisa Servon proposes strategies for addressing the challenges facing the microenterprise field in the United States.  Julia Sass Rubin discusses ways community loan and venture capital funds have adapted in response to the decreased availability of funding, and considers potential sources of new capital, such as state governments and public pension funds.  Marva Williams explores the evolution and recent performance of community development banks and credit unions.  Kathleen Engel and Patricia McCoy document the proliferation of predatory lenders, who market loans at onerous interest rates to financially vulnerable families and the devastating effects of such lending on communities—from increased crime to falling home values and lower tax revenues. Rachel Bratt reviews the policies and programs used to make rental and owned housing financially accessible.  Rob Hollister proposes a framework for evaluating the contributions of community development financial institutions. Despite the many accomplishments of CDFIs over the last four decades, changing political and economic conditions make it imperative that they adapt in order to survive.  Financing Low-Income Communities charts out new directions for public and private organizations which aim to end the financial exclusion of marginalized neighborhoods.

front cover of How the Other Half Banks
How the Other Half Banks
Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy
Mehrsa Baradaran
Harvard University Press, 2015

The United States has two separate banking systems today—one serving the well-to-do and another exploiting everyone else. How the Other Half Banks contributes to the growing conversation on American inequality by highlighting one of its prime causes: unequal credit. Mehrsa Baradaran examines how a significant portion of the population, deserted by banks, is forced to wander through a Wild West of payday lenders and check-cashing services to cover emergency expenses and pay for necessities—all thanks to deregulation that began in the 1970s and continues decades later.

“Baradaran argues persuasively that the banking industry, fattened on public subsidies (including too-big-to-fail bailouts), owes low-income families a better deal…How the Other Half Banks is well researched and clearly written…The bankers who fully understand the system are heavily invested in it. Books like this are written for the rest of us.”
—Nancy Folbre, New York Times Book Review

How the Other Half Banks tells an important story, one in which we have allowed the profit motives of banks to trump the public interest.”
—Lisa J. Servon, American Prospect


front cover of Investment Management in Boston
Investment Management in Boston
A History
David Grayson Allen
University of Massachusetts Press, 2014
Presented here for the first time is the history of Boston's evolution as a center of American money management from early settlement to the twenty-first century. Within a few decades after the Revolution, Bostonians built up an impressive mercantile and industrial economy, and used wealth accrued from the China trade, New England mills, and other ventures to establish the most important stock exchange in America. They also created the "Boston trustee," a unique professional who managed private fortunes over generations. During the late nineteenth century, Boston financial institutions were renowned as bastions of stability and conservatism in an era of recurrent economic panics and frequent failures.

It was not until the twentieth century that Boston became better known for its role in investment management. In 1924, local financiers created the first mutual fund, an innovation almost a century in the making. After World War II, Boston originated venture capital with the founding of American Research & Development. This was soon followed by the development of private equity, the growth of the mutual fund industry, the pension "revolution" that changed and strengthened money management, the evolution in management of institutional endowments, and the rise of new family offices and hedge funds. The contributions of fiduciaries and investment managers have played an important part in the rise of the "New Boston" and made the city one of the most vibrant financial capitals in the world.

Investment Management in Boston is published in association with Massachusetts Historical Society.

front cover of The Social Life of Financial Derivatives
The Social Life of Financial Derivatives
Markets, Risk, and Time
Edward LiPuma
Duke University Press, 2017
In The Social Life of Financial Derivatives Edward LiPuma theorizes the profound social dimensions of derivatives markets and the processes, rituals, and belief systems that drive them. In response to the 2008 financial crisis and drawing on his experience trading derivatives, LiPuma outlines how they function as complex devices that organize speculative capital as well as the ways derivative-driven capitalism not only produces the conditions for its own existence, but also penetrates the fabric of everyday life. Framing finance as a form of social life and highlighting the intrinsically social character of financial derivatives, LiPuma deepens our understanding of derivatives so that we may someday use them to serve the public well-being.

front cover of Stories of Capitalism
Stories of Capitalism
Inside the Role of Financial Analysts
Stefan Leins
University of Chicago Press, 2018
The financial crisis and the recession that followed caught many people off guard, including experts in the financial sector whose jobs involve predicting market fluctuations. Financial analysis offices in most international banks are supposed to forecast the rise or fall of stock prices, the success or failure of investment products, and even the growth or decline of entire national economies. And yet their predictions are heavily disputed. How do they make their forecasts—and do those forecasts have any actual value?
Building on recent developments in the social studies of finance, Stories of Capitalism provides the first ethnography of financial analysis. Drawing on two years of fieldwork in a Swiss bank, Stefan Leins argues that financial analysts construct stories of possible economic futures, presenting them as coherent and grounded in expert research and analysis. In so doing, they establish a role for themselves—not necessarily by laying bare empirically verifiable trends but rather by presenting the market as something that makes sense and is worth investing in. Stories of Capitalism is a nuanced look at how banks continue to boost investment—even in unstable markets—and a rare insider’s look into the often opaque financial practices that shape the global economy.

Send via email Share on Facebook Share on Twitter