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Money and finance: For an anthropology of globalization

There is much talk today of a financial and economic crisis comparable to the 1930s. With the threat of a currency war and the euro’s collapse looming, the specter of the Great Depression’s bloody aftermath has returned with a vengeance. Several versions of how to make human beings and build society co-existed during the Cold War, when much of the world won independence from colonial empire. Yet, discussion of humanity’s growing interdependence is today limited to a one-world capitalism driven by finance. What have anthropologists to say about that? It would seem very little. But a positive case can be made for the discipline’s contribution to public debate. We make such a case here. We review recent developments in the anthropology of money and finance, listing its achievements, shortcomings and prospects, while referring back to the discipline’s founders a century ago. Economic anthropologists have tended to restrict themselves to niche fields and marginal debates since the 1960s. We hope to reverse this trend by focusing on money’s role in shaping global society and bringing world history into a more active dialogue with ethnography.
Money and finance: For an anthropology of globalization by Keith Hart and Horacio Ortiz
posted by infini on Feb 12, 2014 - 17 comments

 

"I couldn't afford for Carpentersville to become Detroit"

Tom Roeser was unhappy about the decline of his town, Carpentersville, IL. So he decided to do something about it. Roeser bought some foreclosed properties, renovated them, and then rented them out for below market value.
posted by reenum on Apr 2, 2013 - 56 comments

"Victory as recorded on those screens made them feel like Masters of the Universe."

Eunuchs of the Universe: Tom Wolfe on Wall Street Today: [Daily Beast]
"As America teeters on a cliff, Tom Wolfe draws up a sterling indictment of our unscrupulous financial culture. Twenty-five years after Bonfire of the Vanities, the author returns to Wall Street to see what happened to the Masters of the Universe."

posted by Fizz on Jan 4, 2013 - 35 comments

"how we learned to stop worrying and embrace the abstraction"

A Brief History Of Money [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 16, 2012 - 53 comments

How My Danish Friend Paid Off His Debt By Becoming A Gay Prostitute

How My Danish Friend Paid Off His Debt By Becoming A Gay Prostitute
posted by reenum on Oct 31, 2012 - 51 comments

Rubber Rooms Are Still Open, Just Different

Thought the "rubber rooms" where New York City teachers were sent to wait for disciplinary hearings were closed? Not so much. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Oct 16, 2012 - 32 comments

Brother, can you spare a dime?

The National Bureau of Economic Research has published a new paper analyzing 138 years of economic history in 14 advanced economies, which proves that high levels of private debt cause severe recessions. (Via) Bonus SLYT: Money As Debt (1hr)
posted by infini on Sep 10, 2012 - 32 comments

Computer says No

For the past 4 days, up to 12 million NatWest / Royal Bank of Scotland customers have been unable to pay bills, move money or get paid due to a technical problem. Customers have been unable to complete on house purchases and some are stuck because they can't pay hotel bills abroad. The new mobile banking service has also been affected. The bank has called in 7,000 staff to open all weekend as problems persist.
Just three months ago, the State-controlled bank outsourced nearly 300 back-office roles to Hyderabad in India.
posted by Lanark on Jun 23, 2012 - 71 comments

TED: Yes to "Drying your Hands," No to "Income Inequality."

"I can say with confidence that rich people don't create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small," said über-rich venture capitalist Nick Hanauer in a March 1st TEDx talk, which TED is refusing to put on its website. [more inside]
posted by blazingunicorn on May 16, 2012 - 98 comments

In Canada, Alternate Currency Keeps Traction With Fans

Canadian Tire Company coupons, thought of by some as an alternative Canadian currency, may be on the way out. [more inside]
posted by reenum on May 14, 2012 - 63 comments

The Iced Coffee Economy

Why iced coffee costs so much more than the hot stuff.
posted by reenum on Mar 23, 2012 - 82 comments

The Sugar Daddy Recession

The bad economy has forced some women into arrangements with less than ideal men.
posted by reenum on Mar 13, 2012 - 54 comments

Sacred Economics and Beyond

"It’s a very ancient idea that the universe runs by the principles of the gift...in fact the purpose for our existence, the reason why we’re here, is to give." Writer Charles Eisenstein speaks on his book Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition.
posted by velvet winter on Feb 7, 2012 - 41 comments

Help Wanted: Busybodies With Cameras

People in Korea now have a new vocation available to them: snitching on other civilians for cash payouts from the government.
posted by reenum on Oct 17, 2011 - 83 comments

The Loading Dock Manifesto

John Hyduk, a middle aged blue collar worker in Cleveland, writes about his daily existence.
posted by reenum on Jun 28, 2011 - 46 comments

Renting a read from 'newspaper landlords'

The poor in Ethiopia are often unable to buy newspapers, so they 'rent' papers for 20-30 minutes at a time from local entrepreneurs.
posted by reenum on Apr 20, 2011 - 26 comments

The answer to everything in Dubai is money

"The plan was money. The architect was money. The designer was money and the builder was money. And if you ever wondered what money would look like if it were left to its own devices, it's Dubai."
posted by vidur on Mar 13, 2011 - 69 comments

The Dead Weight of Debt

"The World", an ambitious real estate project conceived at the height of the real estate boom, is sinking back into the sea.
[more inside]
posted by reenum on Jan 28, 2011 - 34 comments

The 25-Year 'Foreclosure From Hell'

Patsy Campbell has been fighting her foreclosure in Florida courts for the past 25 years. She has not made a mortgage payment since 1985 while foiling the efforts of several banks to evict her from her home in Okeechobee, Florida.
posted by reenum on Dec 30, 2010 - 150 comments

We don't want to read about the poors

There is a firestorm in Bedford, New Hampshire, because a parent wants the school board to take the book "Nickel and Dimed: Not Getting By In America" off the reading list for a high school personal finance class. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Dec 14, 2010 - 131 comments

Bargain Junkies Are Beating Retailers at Their Own Game

A new brand of super shoppers use coupons and other discounts to get products for absurdly low prices. The Web has turned this group from a series of independent operators into cohesive groups, frustrating retailers.
posted by reenum on Dec 3, 2010 - 126 comments

Good-bye to Dubai

The once shining beacon of capitalism in the Persian Gulf has lost a lot of its luster since the global financial crisis in 2008. But is it too soon to declare Dubai dead? [more inside]
posted by reenum on Nov 30, 2010 - 43 comments

Bingo In The Blood

The NY Times explores the darker side of bingo.
posted by reenum on Nov 28, 2010 - 46 comments

What $200,000 in Student Debt Looks Like

Kelli went to Northeastern University and got loans to pay for her sociology degree. Her repayment schedule is featured in the article and it is not pretty. [more inside]
posted by reenum on Nov 22, 2010 - 261 comments

I pay, you pay, we pay

How to be frugal and still be asked on dates Though saving and overall frugality are making a comeback in all areas of life, dating remains the one area where it is (probably) not acceptable to be cheap.
posted by The1andonly on Aug 20, 2010 - 42 comments

Money in Socialist Economies: The Case of North Korea

Money in Socialist Economies: The Case of North Korea by Dr. Rüdiger Frank [more inside]
posted by Tlery on Mar 1, 2010 - 27 comments

amateurs do it for love

Mohandas K. Gandhi’s critique of the modern identification of society with the state was devastating. He believed that it disabled citizens, subjecting mind and body to the control of professional experts when the purpose of a civilization should be to enhance its members’ sense of their own self-reliance. He proposed instead that every human being is a unique personality and participates with the rest of humanity in an encompassing whole. Between these extremes lie proliferating associations of great variety. [...] But what is most relevant to us is his existentialist project. If the world of society and nature is devoid of meaning, each of us is left feeling small, isolated and vulnerable. How do we bridge the gap between a puny self and a vast, unknowable world? The answer is to scale down the world, to scale up the self or a combination of both, so that a meaningful relationship might be established between the two. Gandhi devoted a large part of his philosophy to building up the personal resources of individuals. Our task is to bring this project up to date. ~ From The Digital Revolution and me by John Keith Hart
posted by infini on Jan 9, 2010 - 15 comments

If Potter gets a hold of this building and loan, there will never be another decent house built in this town.

Frank Capra meets Collateralized Debt Obligations:
The idea is simple: If enough people who have money in one of the big four banks move it into smaller, more local, more traditional community banks, then collectively we, the people, will have taken a big step toward re-rigging the financial system so it becomes again the productive, stable engine for growth it's meant to be. It's neither Left nor Right -- it's populism at its best.
Move your money.
posted by Anything on Dec 31, 2009 - 70 comments

To berate, belittle, and besmirch Ben Bernanke

In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee... where he’s seeking re-appointment as the Fed’s chairman, Bernanke called for cutbacks in Medicare and Social Security... “Willie Sutton robbed banks because that’s where the money is, as he put it,” Bernanke said. “The money in this case is in entitlements.” [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 4, 2009 - 91 comments

Remittances reversed

“We send something whenever we have a little extra, at least enough so he can eat." Remittances, the small money transfers a previous FPP called "the most important antipoverty program in the world", are now flowing the opposite direction. Yes, poor families in southern Mexico are having scramble to find money to send north to their out of work relatives in the US.
posted by Forktine on Nov 18, 2009 - 14 comments

UK and USA might lose AAA rating

Standard & Poor’s changed the UK's credit outlook from stable to negative a few days ago, and warned that there is a chance the UK could lose its AAA rating. Meanwhile, Moodys, another of the big 3 rating agencies, has warned that the US might also eventually lose its AAA rating. The UK announcement caused sterling to drop by 1% and the FTSE by 2%. However, many blame the same rating agencies for their part in triggering the subprime crisis. The irony of this is not lost on the Wall Street Journal, who note that "After all, those governments are jacking up spending, in part, to bail out the financial firms who gobbled up those 'AAA' asset backed securities duly blessed by the credit ratings firms." [more inside]
posted by memebake on May 26, 2009 - 38 comments

Michael Richards gets a mulligan for the week

"I understand you want to make finance entertaining, but it's not a f*ckin game." (parts 1 2 3) After trading blows over the last couple weeks, CNBC's Mad Money host Jim Cramer appeared opposite Jon Stewart as a guest on The Daily Show. While Cramer worked to keep his poise during the awkward exchange, the evisceration may call to mind Jon's appearance on Crossfire.
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Mar 13, 2009 - 273 comments

Dating A Banker Anonymous

Dating A Banker Anonymous Are you or someone you love dating a banker? If so, we are here to support you through these difficult times. Dating A Banker Anonymous (DABA) is a safe place where women can come together – free from the scrutiny of feminists– and share their tearful tales of how the mortgage meltdown has affected their relationships. Via
posted by ColdChef on Jan 28, 2009 - 167 comments

“They didn’t tell me I had to do anything particular with it”

At the Palm Beach Ritz-Carlton last November, John C. Hope III, the chairman of Whitney National Bank in New Orleans, stood before a ballroom full of Wall Street analysts and explained how his bank intended to use its $300 million in federal bailout money.

“Make more loans?” Mr. Hope said. “We’re not going to change our business model or our credit policies to accommodate the needs of the public sector as they see it to have us make more loans.”

Personal stories from the front lines of the American bailout.
posted by plexi on Jan 18, 2009 - 63 comments

If Admiral Ackbar had dyslexia, he'd say...

TARP, SSFIP, EESA, CPP, TALF, MMIFF... Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the new acronyms coming out of the US Treasury Department lately? Here's a handy PDF reference guide to untangling the US government efforts to rescue banks, financial corporations, and other companies.
posted by Asparagirl on Dec 29, 2008 - 10 comments

AAA?

Anatomy of a Meltdown - Ben Bernanke and the financial crisis (in one page)
posted by Gyan on Nov 24, 2008 - 61 comments

sovereign risk and the current economy

Another economic post. With the debt and equity markets in a comparative calm, a lot of people are asking what next? One area little examined is the idea of sovereign risk. Basically, those with the armies make to rules, and you don't want to be invested there when they change the rules,. The USA has been the power behind globalisation for over half a century, enforcing the rules of the marketplace we have grown to accept. Some are questioning whether it can maintain this position. [more inside]
posted by bystander on Nov 3, 2008 - 15 comments

The Money Meltdown

The Money Meltdown is an excellent site clearly summarizing the banking crisis, with links to articles of varying complexity, including an dry (but readable) economics paper summarizing the lessons from 42 previous banking crises and a guide from the Brookings Institution on what the next President needs to do. And yes, they also reference the podcast just discussed.
posted by blahblahblah on Oct 6, 2008 - 12 comments

$3 Trillion Shopping Spree

The $3 Trillion Shopping Spree. "The occupation of Iraq will cost $3 trillion, America's most expensive conflict since WWII. Can YOU spend that money better? Here's your chance to go on a virtual $3 trillion shopping spree and prove it!" [Via Gristmill.]
posted by homunculus on May 10, 2008 - 66 comments

Economic Consequences

The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush. "The next president will have to deal with yet another crippling legacy of George W. Bush: the economy. A Nobel laureate, Joseph E. Stiglitz, sees a generation-long struggle to recoup." [Via Firedoglake.]
posted by homunculus on Nov 18, 2007 - 70 comments

"Poor people sending even poorer people $100"

What is the most important antipoverty program in the world? The surprising answer is remittances, the earnings sent from overseas workers back home - which, according to a new study, totals over $300 billion a year. There is an interactive map that shows you the impact per country: over 10% of the GDP of economies such as Morocco, Jordan, and the Philippines comes from these payments, which are often the largest source of investment for most developing countries. The New York Times has a neat feature showing how global migration and remittances are tied together.
posted by blahblahblah on Oct 17, 2007 - 29 comments

Canadian Money becomes Real Money

Parity - The Canadian Dollar is (almost) at equal value to the American Dollar for the first time since 1976.
posted by SansPoint on Sep 20, 2007 - 80 comments

Scrooge Good

Scrooge Good Dr. Landsburg is not always correct or clear when he tries to show how us how to best think counter-intuitively. But, he might be onto something here. His recommendation to make "saving" more tax free is probably a great one.
posted by narebuc on Dec 10, 2004 - 11 comments

Where is the federal reserve leading us?

Monetary Policy in a Zero-Interest-Rate Economy [pdf] This report written by the Dallas Fed is amazing. Amongst other things, it outlines a plan to tax your savings as a way to continue to stimulate consumption should rates fall to zero. While opinions of the 'fed range from worship to outrage, their actions raise some serious questions. Why does this unelected group wield so much power? At what point are their actions (taxing savings) a violation of our property rights? If our economy is built on capitalism, why can we not be capitalists and embrace the opportunity presented by both boom and bust? At what point are we a command economy?
posted by H. Roark on Jun 19, 2003 - 17 comments

Bond Funds and the Liquidity Trap

Interest rates are so low that you lose money buying bond funds. A preview of the liquidity trap?
posted by alms on May 20, 2003 - 10 comments

The Euro Effect Iraq Oil and threat to the dollar

Is the currency that oil is denominated in the real reason for the Iraq War? "The Federal Reserve's greatest nightmare is that OPEC will switch its international transactions from a dollar standard to a euro standard. Iraq actually made this switch in Nov. 2000 (when the euro was worth around 80 cents), and has actually made off like a bandit considering the dollar's steady depreciation against the euro. (Note: the dollar declined 17% against the euro in 2002.)"
posted by thedailygrowl on Feb 11, 2003 - 35 comments

"What is your name? Do you have a claim against me? Does anyone have a claim against me? I demand, or request, that the order of the court be released to me immediately."

"What is your name? Do you have a claim against me? Does anyone have a claim against me? I demand, or request, that the order of the court be released to me immediately." (NYT link) 12 Michigan (natch) nutcases shout the same four questions over and over during their fraud, conspiracy, and tax evasion trial. Seems they believe the four questions shield them from government authority. They also believe the U.S. Constitution was invalidated when FDR took us off the gold standard, and the federal government has no power over them. I wonder if they'll come to feel differently after a few years in the federal penitentiary?
posted by pardonyou? on Dec 13, 2001 - 43 comments

The global distribution of income is becoming ever more unequal.

The global distribution of income is becoming ever more unequal. One of the proposed solutions? More charity by the ultra-rich.
posted by schoolie on Jun 18, 2001 - 10 comments

Is the US really entering a recession?

Is the US really entering a recession? Even with recent layoffs, the last time unemployement was this low before 1999 was 1970. And maybe a recession is not such a bad idea, what with spending outmaching saving in recent years. [more inside]
posted by croutonsupafreak on Feb 3, 2001 - 3 comments

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