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Hadas Weiss

formal and remunerated work, is just as indispensable for economic production. Yet the pressures exacted by financialization turn care work into the sole responsibility of families and communities, while at the same time diminishing their capacity to

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Richard H. Robbins

an ‘American way of debt’ resting on a hypertrophied financial system.” — Tayyad Mahmud (2013: 2) “As the financial system continues to seek new income streams to increase profitability, daily life becomes more and more reflective of the processes by

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Teppo Eskelinen

The outcomes of the recent financial crises appear to most minds as intuitively unjust. Indeed, in both the U.S. and Europe, a great number of jobs have been lost, a great number of people have lost their homes, public services have been cut, and

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The emergence of the global debt society

Governmentality and profit extraction through fabricated abundance and imposed scarcity in Peru and Spain

Ismael Vaccaro, Eric Hirsch and Irene Sabaté

As a result of the financialization of household and national economies, indebtedness has become a system of domination shaping the making of contemporary subjects. This sort of governmentality through debt is a multifaceted phenomenon affecting people’s economic and political behavior in both the North and the South. Disguised and legitimized by the moral obligation to repay debts, and by promises of upward social mobility (for the working classes in the North) and of development (for the population of the Global South), indebtedness disciplines households and neutralizes political agency under finance capitalism, as our ethnographic examples on the mortgage crisis in Spain and on microfinance in Peru reveal.

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Getting by or getting ahead

State social spending and financialization in Peru

Susan Vincent

Peru’s economy is booming because of natural resource extraction, without providing formal employment. Instead, increased state revenues fund social spending. This case study shows how cash transfers are integrated into intergenerational reciprocities that are essential to social reproduction in ways that promote financialization: their inadequacy may necessitate loans which the regular disbursements can repay. Recipients hoping to get by tend to have few kin obligations and use state aid to sustain themselves, while those hoping to get ahead use them to leverage investment in productive enterprises for themselves or their families. For people from Allpachico, for whom male migrant work in the regional mining sector was the economic mainstay three decades ago, this constitutes a new relationship to the state, mining, and the economy.

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Giliberto Capano

The education policies of Berlusconi’s fourth government have been

characterized by a certain decision-making efficiency, when compared

with those of the governments that immediately preceded it (both Prodi

III and Berlusconi II and III). In fact, in the first two and a half years of the 16th Legislature, there have been decisions that will have a significant

impact on the educational system, and it should be emphasized

that many of these have actually been put into effect or are in the

first stage of implementation. The minister of education, Mariastella

Gelmini, has therefore clearly shown greater decision-making abilities

than her predecessors. She has taken advantage of the fact that she

has been able to develop her strategy via a “financial” route, with

educational rule-making informed by Law No. 133/2008, which contains

“urgent measures for economic development and for the simplification,

competitiveness, and stabilization of public finance and tax


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Women and children together and apart

Finding the time for social reproduction theory

Jan Newberry and Rachel Rosen

In what ways, and to what effects, are proliferating temporalities of appropriation in financialized capitalism transforming or transformed by those of social reproductive labor? More specifically, how are woman-child relations affected when social reproduction becomes a site of immediate, not just indirect, capital accumulation through relations of debt? To answer these questions, we take up species-being as the labor relation that anchors socially necessary labor and links women and children by attending to three temporal modalities of accumulation via social reproductive labor: scholarization, (re)familization, and debt servicing. We argue that differentiated tempos in the appropriation of surplus value, operating to “fix” contradictions between capital’s short- and long-term interests, are critical sources of tension between women and children in the meeting of needs. Producing and mapping divergent rhythms of appropriation on to different groups may both link diverse women and children, and put their interests at odds.

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Stephen J. Silvia

Among the many striking developments that arose out of the 2008-2009

financial crisis and the subsequent EURO crisis has been the policy divergence

between the United States and Germany. Typically, the two countries

have broadly similar preferences regarding economic policy. To be

sure, this is not the first time that Germany and the U.S. have failed to see

eye to eye on economic matters,1 but the recent gap in perception and

policy does warrant attention because it has been unusually large. Unlike

the famous quarrels between Jimmy Carter and Helmut Schmidt in the

1970s,2 personality does not seem to play a role in this case. What then

does explain the gulf?

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Manuela Moschella

This chapter investigates the reforms of some important and distinctive sectors of the Italian financial system: the banche popolari and the fondazioni bancarie. These reforms are particularly relevant in the list of events that have marked the year 2015 because they are inextricably intertwined with revisions in the EU supervisory and regulatory architecture and because they are an integral part of the broader government plan to revive economic growth after the fiscal crisis. In particular, the chapter analyzes the long- and short-term factors that set the stage for the reforms to take place. These include transformations in the large cooperative banks and the inaction of key parts of the domestic financial sector with regard to legislative and structural changes; competitive pressures deriving from the buildup of European financial integration; and the backing of domestic and international regulators such as the Bank of Italy, the IMF, and the EU Commission, among others.

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Can a financial bubble burst if no one hears the pop?

Transparency, debt, and the control of price in the Kathmandu land market

Andrew Haxby

down in Kathmandu. Financial bubbles rest on the assumption of price equilibrium: that in a functioning market, a commodity’s price will naturally trend toward a balancing of supply and demand (e.g., Friedman 1976 ; Kindleberger and Aliber 1978 ). A