‘Money on the Street’ as a Hoard

How Informal Moneylenders Remain Unbanked

in Social Analysis
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  • 1 Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main Fotta@em.uni-frankfurt.de
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Abstract

The resilience of the communal life of Calon Gypsies of Bahia, whose primary occupation is moneylending, lies in their treatment of money that individual men have in circulation as composing ‘inalienable personal hoards’. Calon ‘money on the street’ is viewed as a set of all the money a Calon man can hope to receive at various points from his existing loans. As a singularized totality, this whole is considered by other Calon as potentially knowable, encompassed by Calon morality and thus subject to people’s claims and evaluations. The dynamic relation between these two specific sums—the temporary whole that constitutes a man’s reputation and any expenditure indexically related to it—turns expenditures into events through which Calon manhood is forged and sovereignty from calculatory reason is declared.

Contributor Notes

Martin Fotta is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Institut für Ethnologie, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main. He is currently working on two projects: a research project about the effects of conditional cash transfers on the indebtedness of rural households in Brazil and a monograph on moneymaking activities among Calon Romanies in Brazil. He is a co-editor, with Micol Brazzabeni and Manuela Ivone Cunha, of Gypsy Economy: Romani Livelihoods and Notions of Worth in the 21st Century (2016) and, with Maria Elisa Balen, of Money from the Government in Latin America: Conditional Cash Transfers and Rural Lives, a forthcoming work to be published by Routledge.

Social Analysis

The International Journal of Anthropology

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