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wherein financial instruments flow within an independent sphere, seemingly detached from the real economy,

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Since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, the world’s major central banks have been plowing vast quantities of money into the banking system. The U.S. Federal Reserve has made commitments totalling some $29 trillion, $7 trillion to banks during the course of one single fraught week. The Bank of England has spent around £325 billion on quantitative easing alone — a figure that could yet rise to £600 billion — while the UK government has committed £1.162 trillion to bank rescues. The European Central Bank has made low-interest loans directly to banks worth at least €1.1 trillion. These measures are not addressing the crisis alone. In April 2013, the Bank of Japan embarked on a quantitative easing program worth some $1.3 trillion, designed to end more than a decade of deflation. The social costs of the crisis, too, have been devastating. There are the costs both of the crisis itself and importantly of the policies used by governments and central banks to alleviate its effects on those very institutions that caused it.

With a grotesque reflexivity, financial speculation becomes nothing more than a form of speculation about speculation itself. This is the era of what Baudrillard called “cool” money, wherein financial instruments flow within an independent sphere, seemingly detached from the real economy, as if finance was its own self-perpetuating reality.

— Nigel Dodd, The Social Life of Money

[cherry_banner image=”4586″ title=”Adbusters #123″ url=”http://subscribe.adbusters.org/collections/back-issues/products/ab123″ template=”issue.tmpl”]Manifesto for World Revolution Pt. VI[/cherry_banner]