Heretical Finance 2020 Reading List & Dates

Convened by 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).


Monday 2 March 2020

Schifferes, Steve; Knowles, Sophie & Basu, Laura (Eds) (2018) The Media and Austerity: Comparative Perspectives, Routledge


This edited collection examines the role of the news media in communicating and critiquing economic and social austerity measures in Europe since 2010. From an array of comparative, historical and interdisciplinary vantage points, the contributors seek to understand how and why austerity came to be perceived as the only legitimate policy response to the financial crisis a decade after it began.


Monday 6 April 2020

Pistor, Katharina (2019) The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality, Princeton University Press


Capital is the defining feature of modern economies, yet most people have no idea where it actually comes from. What is it, exactly, that transforms mere wealth into an asset that automatically creates more wealth? The Code of Capital explains how capital is created behind closed doors in the offices of private attorneys. In this revealing book, Katharina Pistor argues that the law selectively “codes” certain assets, endowing them with the capacity to protect and produce private wealth.


Monday 4 May 2020

Soules, Daniel (2019) Songs of Profit, Songs of Loss: Private Equity, Wealth, and Inequality, University of Nebraska Press


From outsourcing to excessive debt taking, private equity investment helped normalize once-taboo business strategies while growing into an over $3 trillion industry in control of thousands of companies and millions of workers. Daniel Scott Soules opens a window into the rarefied world of private equity investing through ethnographic fieldwork on private equity financiers.


Monday 8 June 2020

Lee, Ching Kwan (2017) The Specter of Global China: Politics, Labor, and Foreign Investment in Africa, University of Chicago Press.



China is one of Africa’s top business partners, aggressively pursuing raw materials and establishing a mighty presence in the continent’s booming construction market. Even though Africa has become a popular destination for global foreign investment, China has stirred the most fear, hope, and controversy. Yet global debates about China in Africa have been based more on rhetoric than empirical evidence. Ching Kwan Lee’s book is the first comparative ethnographic study addressing this critical question: Is Chinese capital a different kind of capital?