The latest crisis has incited substantial conversation about debt, banking, financialization, and the commodification of everyday life. All these issues are inherently related to money. But what exactly is money? Where does it come from? Who does make our money today?
Making Money: The Philosophy of Crisis Capitalism turns the questions raised in the title into a matter of philosophical rather than economic analysis. Applying the thinking of Slavoj Žižek, Heidegger’s theoretical perspective, Lacanian psychoanalysis to mainstream economic literature, Ole Bjerg (Copenhagen Business School) provides a radical way of looking at the mysterious stuff we use to buy things. It is a theory unfolded in reflections on the nature of monetary phenomena such as financial markets, banks, debt, credit, derivatives, gold, risk, value, price, interests, and arbitrage. The analysis of money is put into an historical context, suggesting that the current financial turbulence and debt crisis are evidence that we live in the age of post-credit capitalism.
By bridging the fields of economics and contemporary philosophy, Bjerg’s work engages in a compelling and illuminating form of intellectual arbitrage regarding the bedrock of capitalism.
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We will surely see a tipping point with regards to what the masses perceive as money in the coming years with the increased uptake of mobile payments (where enabling settlements and safeguarding safety (perceived safety that is) is key) and the rise of crypto currencies where money is again fundamentally an asset again and a store of value on a hard drive or server more than a medium of exchange or unit of account. I think in one of his works Prabhat Patnaik assets the money as store of value argument through his Marxist lens whereas John Smithin attempts to tackle the same question via a Post Keynesian framework in his book “What is Money”
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