Convened by Johnna Montgomerie and Clea Bourne, the Heretical Finance Reading Group meets monthly to discuss texts providing alternative, multi-disciplinary, non-disciplinary, cultural and critical perspectives on finance, including fictional representations.
Open to all – academics, non-academics, students – and no registration is required.
Meetings take place at 4.30pm on Mondays (the first Monday of the month) in the basement seminar room at PERC, 41 Lewisham Way, opposite the main Goldsmiths building (how to find Goldsmiths).
THE SCHEDULE FOR 2017
Monday 6 February – Earle, Joe and Moran, Cahal (2016) The Econocracy: The Perils of Leaving Economics to the Experts, Manchester University Press.
Argues that since the language and logic of economics shapes the thinking about political issues, this effectively locks out the majority of citizens, who cannot ‘speak’ economics.
Monday 6 March – Bagehot, Walter (1873/1850s) Lombard Street: A Description of the Money Market. Henry S. King & Co.
A classic by the famous early editor of The Economist. The book was in part a reaction to the financial collapse of Overend, Gurney and Company, a wholesale discount bank located at 65 Lombard Street, London, from which the book draws its title. When this bank suspended payments on 10 May 1866, panic spread across London, Liverpool, Manchester, Norwich, Derby and Bristol.
Eight-year study following wealth managers in the 18 most popular tax havens. The author, Brooke Harrington, interviewed professionals who specialize in protecting the fortunes of the world’s richest people: wealth managers. To gain access to their tactics and mentality, she trained to become one of them.
Monday 8 May – Sironi, Paolo (2016) Fintech Innovation: From Robo-Advisors to Goal Based Investing and Gamification, Wiley Finance Series
Examines the rise of financial technology and its growing impact on the global banking industry. Wealth managers are standing at the epicentre of this tectonic shift. This book provides clear insights about what happens in its cavities, where digitalization is teaming up with demographical changes and social media.
Monday 5 June – Campbell, Jeremy (2015) Conjuring Property: Speculation and environmental futures in the Brazilian Amazon, University of Washington Press. Conjuring Property shows how, in a region that many perceive to be stateless, colonists – from highly capitalized ranchers to landless workers – adopt anticipatory stances while they await future governance intervention regarding land.
Monday 3 July – Elliot, George (1861) Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe, William Blackwood & Sons
The famous novel is currently being interpreted as an allegory about the gold standard. The story is set in the early 19th century, Silas Marner, a weaver, is a member of a small Calvinist congregation in Lantern Yard, a slum street in an unnamed city in Northern England. He is falsely accused of stealing the congregation’s funds and proclaimed guilty.
How did participating in the modern financial system come to seem like a routine part of everyday life? Chronicle the process by which our most important conceptual categories were naturalised. This book addresses this question by examining the complex relationships among forms of writing that are not usually viewed together, from bills of exchange and bank checks, to realist novels and Romantic poems, to economic theory and financial journalism.
Monday 2 October – Cox, Harvey (2016) The Market as God, Harvard University Press.
Only by tracing how the Market reached its divine status can we hope to restore it to its proper place as servant of humanity. The Market as God captures how our world has fallen in thrall to the business theology of supply and demand. According to its acolytes, the Market is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent. The Market comes complete with its own doctrines, prophets, and evangelical zeal to convert the world to its way of life.
Drawing on his personal experience of negotiations with the eurozone’s financiers, and offering concrete policies to reform Europe, Varoufakis shows how we concocted this mess, and points the way out of it.
Doug Fanning lives an apparently gilded existence. A Gulf war veteran turned banker at the vast investment bank Union Atlantic, he is wealthy, handsome and powerful – the epitome of Wall Street success. Charlotte Graves lives in self-imposed exile deep in the forests of rural Massachusetts, stubbornly refusing to engage with a country she feels to be in morally bankrupt.