‘Liquidity’, or rather lack of it, lies at the heart of the ongoing global financial crisis. In this collection of essays, the metaphor of money as liquidity, and the model of crisis it entails, is deliberated by a range of scholars from economics, history, anthropology, literature, and sociology. This volume offers a rhetorical explanation of the social, cultural, and historical contexts in which metaphors of money are produced, circulate, and fail. These essays, first presented at "After the Crash, Beyond Liquidity," a conference on money and metaphors held at the University of Virginia, USA, in October of 2009, were drafted in the wake of global uncertainty, TARP bailouts, the Great Recession, programs of stimulus and austerity, and recurrent threats of sovereign default in the EU. They question the language of liquidity and flows that is characteristic of everyday business, exposing what metaphors of money hide and explaining why the idea of liquidity has proved so durable.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Cultural Economy.
1. Introduction: After the Crash, Beyond Liquidity Brad Pasanek and Simone Polillo 2. Commercial Material Flows as Generators of Symbols Arthur Stinchcombe 3. Money as Electricity Anne Mayhew 4. Parallel Journeys: Adam Smith and Milton Friedman on the Regulation of Banking Hugh Rockoff 5. Insurance, Risk and the Problem of Representation John O'Brien 6. Desire and Disease in the Speculative Economy: A Critique of the Language of Crisis Nicky Marsh 7. The Liquid Life: Money and Circulation of Success after Franklin Matthew Garrett 8. ‘The Root of all Good’: Ayn Rand and the Meaning of Money Jennifer Burns 9. Mobile Money, Money Magic, Purse Limits and Pins: Tracing Monetary Pragmatics Bill Maurer