Money is a promise with future benefits or dangers that can never, because unknowable, be calculated. The financial sector is driven to beat this uncertainty by speculating on whether prices will rise or fall. No matter how often the folly of this behaviour is demonstrated through crisis after crisis, this attempt to defeat uncertainty persists. Yet uncertainty is unavoidable. Squeezed in one place, it emerges in another. Based on extensive interviews with leading actors in the financial markets, this book argues that the only way to face uncertainty is with emotions and values. It presents an original explanation of how booms and busts arise from internal disputes over trust between financial corporations. Just as the first edition warned prophetically of the dangers of excessive faith in the rationality of financial market behaviour, this new edition provides a sociological explanation of how this contributed to the recent financial crisis.
Global markets or social relations of money -- Emotion in the kingdom of rationality -- The financial media as institutional trust agencies -- Emotions in the boardroom -- Credibility and confidence in the central banks -- Hierarchies of trust -- Overwhelmed by numbers -- The time utopia in finance -- The implications.