April 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

Published in 2009, Liquidated: An ethnography of Wall Street, was the result of a three-year ethnographic study addressing the culture of high finance by Professor of Anthropology, Karen Ho of the University of Minnesota:

Based on this culture of liquidity and compensation practices tied to profligate deal-making, Wall Street investment bankers reshape corporate America in their own image. Their mission is the creation of shareholder value, but Ho demonstrates that their practices and assumptions often produce crises instead. By connecting the values and actions of investment bankers to the construction of markets and the restructuring of U.S. corporations, Liquidated reveals the particular culture of Wall Street often obscured by triumphalist readings of capitalist globalization.

Significant as a publication due to the innovative ethnographic grounding of its subject matter, in this short video, Ho outlines operating structures, the significance regarding ‘pedigree’, citizen complicity and the critical role of fear in this ‘culture of liquidity’:

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