Download Conservatives Versus Wildcats: A Sociology of Financial by Simone Polillo PDF

By Simone Polillo

For many years, the banking a Swiss watch, quietly ticking alongside. however the fresh monetary drawback tricks on the real nature of this area. As Simone Polillo finds in Conservatives as opposed to Wildcats, clash is a riding force.

Conservative bankers attempt to manage cash by means of allying themselves with political elites to limit entry to credits. obstacles to credits create social resistance, so rival bankers—wildcats—attempt to subvert the established order through the use of cash as a device for breaking present obstacles. for example, wildcats could raise the movement of current currencies, comprise new actors in monetary markets, or produce altogether new monetary tools to create change.

Using examples from the industrial and social histories of 19th-century the USA and Italy, decentralized polities the place demanding situations to sound banking originated from above and lower than, this booklet unearths the collective strategies that conservative bankers devise to legitimize strict limitations round credit—and the transgressive concepts that wildcat bankers hire of their problem to this restrictive stance.

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Additional resources for Conservatives Versus Wildcats: A Sociology of Financial Conflict

Sample text

The boundary commits members of a group to a distinctive lifestyle and a common, collective identity. Commitment to a lifestyle serves to solve the tension that inevitably exists between the collective interests of a status group, and the individual interests of its members—the dilemma of collective action (Olson 1965). Members of a status group benefit individually from the appropriation of a resource based on the collective power of the group. So it is in their interest to transcend the collective requirements the group imposes on the mode of appropriation and push instead for individual appropriation.

State BLACK BOX Circuits of Money Fig. 1. Credit Markets as Black Box 2 Banking and Finance as Organized Conflict As we saw in the previous chapter, the myths of fungible money, of banks as institutions of intermediation, and of objective creditworthiness are not neutral. Yet they paint a portrait of an economic reality “out there” that financial activities allegedly reflect (see Knorr Cetina and Bruegger 2002 ; MacKenzie 2006). The myths allow financial actors to blame any problem arising from financial activities on errors in judgment, misaligned incentives, or in some cases, excessive regulation.

To put it differently, it is the power that bankers exercise over other (potential) financial agents that determines how financial investments are managed and where financial flows are directed. The next chapter develops this argument at greater length. For now, suffice it to say that the myth of neutral banking, in sum, turns out to be a myth because financial conflict appears to be the defining aspect of banking activities. If bankers do not depend directly on outside resources for the reproduction of their power, because their ability to accumulate resources is a result of their cohesion; and if status is a fundamental aspect of their cohesion because it backs the collective processes of appropriation—then a focus on the struggles among bankers should take priority over one on the alliances they make with outsiders.

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