A Cultural History of Finance  book cover
1st Edition

A Cultural History of Finance

ISBN 9780415745178
Published November 6, 2013 by Routledge
352 Pages

SAVE ~ $17.99
was $59.95
USD $41.97

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The world of finance is again undergoing crisis and transformation. This book provides a new perspective on finance through the prism of popular and formal culture and examines fascination and repulsion toward money, the role of governments and individuals in financial crises and how the Crisis of 2008, like others since 1720, repeat the same patterns of enthusiasm, greed, culpability, revulsion, reform and recovery.

The book explores the political and socio-economic factors which determine fallibility and resilience in financial cultures, periods of crisis, transition and recovery based on cyclical rather than linear progression. Examining the roots of financial capitalism, in Europe and the United States and its corollary development in Asia, Russia and emerging markets proves that cultural and psychosocial reactions to financial success, endeavor and calamity transcend specific periods or events. The book allows the reader to discover parallel and intersecting reactions, controversies and resolutions in the cultural history of financial markets and institutions.

Table of Contents

Preface.  Introduction  Part 1. Dead Gages, Naked Debentures  1. Etymology: The Anglo-American roots of financial terminology and its impact on financial semantics  2. Instruments, Agents, Institutions and Financial Centers: Biblical, classical, and medieval to Renaissance references  3. Currency: Silver, gold, sterling, ducats, florins, guilders, ecus, bills of acceptance, letters of credit, bank notes to paper money, stocks  4. Agents: usurers, moneychangers, speculators, merchant bankers, financiers, bankers, jobbers to brokers  5. Institutions: fairs, money markets, exchanges, deposit, banks, central banks  6. Financial centers: Rome, Athens, Constantinople, Florence, Bruges, Amsterdam, London  Part 2. Myths, Stigmas and Morality of "Dirty Sexy Money"  7. "Morality and Mammon": Societal, Political and Moral Marginalization  8. Anti -Semitism to Anti-Capitalism  9. Financial Women: Banker’s wives, Lady Speculators, Whores  10. Paper Money: Lure of the Devil  11. Dante’s Seventh Circle of Inferno: Counterfeiting, Financial Fraud  12. Financial Bubbles, Manias and Crisis: South Sea Bubble, Mississippi Bubble, Crash of ‘29  Part 3. Metamorphosis: Materialism to Capitalism (1640s to1780s)  13. Secularization, Science, Literacy, Literature: Reading the Market  14. Wealth Distribution and Societal Mobility: Merchants, Banking Dynasties, Financiers, Tax collectors, Bankers  15. Amsterdam, London, Paris: The Market and Society  16. Consumerism to Luxury  17. Moral and Legal Regulation  18. Market concepts, mores and beliefs: Jean Bodin to Adam Smith, Rousseau to Voltaire The Individual and the States Economic Impulses: Stock Exchanges, Central Banks  19. The Bank of England  Part 4. Ambivalences of Modernity: British, French, German Capitalism (1815-1900)  20. British Financial Universalism: Dickens to Bagehot  21. Political-Financial Matrix: Capitalism in the name of the Nation  22. British and French Bankers to the Universe: Barings, Rothschild, International and Colonial banking  23. Forging Banking and Market Institutional Identity, Culture, Philosophy  24. Monetary Bipolarity: Saint Simon to Marx  25. French Financial Exceptionalism: Hate the Banker, Revere the Bank  26. The Middle Class: Ascension, Ambivalence, Nostalgia  27. Traders, Speculators, Brokers: The Rise of the Market  28. Prussian to German Financial Power: Institutions and Culture Part 5. Capitalism is Dead, Long Live Capitalism  29. First and Second Gilded Ages: "Dynamic of capitalism and its relationship to the state"  30. The Last Waltz of the Empires  31. Marxism and post Marxist societies: Deconstructing and reconstructing financial culture in former Soviet Union, China and emerging markets  32. Post WWI Cultural Manifestations of Financial Chaos, Inflation, Depression  33. WWII Wartime Finances  34. Bretton Woods: The Americanization of Financial Culture and Global Finance  35. International Finance and Economic Security: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Ambrosiano, BCCI to terrorism funding  36. Rogues on the Trading Floor, Knaves in the Boardroom  37. European Monetary Union: Inventing Europe, ECB, Euro, Banking Harmonization  38. Benign neglect to intervention, deregulation, privatization: French, German, British, Japanese Banking  39. Anti- globalization to Anti-Americanism  40. Art, Money, Financial Art  Part 6. American financial culture: Model and Myth of American capitalism (1784- 2009).  41. Land of Opportunities: American Old and New Money  42. The New York Stock Exchange  43. Wall Street –Main Street myths and dichotomies  44. Debt to Creditor Nation: New Banker to the World, American banks and bankers in international finance, JP Morgan to the Federal Reserve  45. Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression: How do you Regulate American Finance  46. "Cowboy capitalism" from the Civil War to 2001: gold and silver standards, tariffs, monopolies, the "Almighty dollar"  47. Transformation of American Financial Culture: Banks and Bankers 1933-1983  48. American Financial Technology and Innovation: FOREX, NASDAQ, Futures, Derivatives  49. Great American Financial Scandals: Penn Square, S&L, Junk Bonds, Enron, Crisis of 2008  50. Traders Take Charge: Lehman Brothers, Road to Deregulation, Masters of the Universe  51. Too-Big to Fail to the End of Glass Steagall, LTC to Irrational Exuberance  52. The Second Gilded Age: American Wealth Distribution  53. American financial market places: Philadelphia, Chicago, New York  54. The Great Depression, Glass-Steagall Act and US regulatory structures  Conclusion

View More



Irene Finel-Honigman is Adjunct Professor of International Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, USA.