Beyond Control

July 18, 2013 § Leave a comment

There have been longer gaps between recent posts than would be liked, in the preparation for installations and events regarding the project in August & September in Ireland. However, a significant reference for this project and its undertaking has been the UK newspaper, The Guardian-supported, The Joris Luyendijk Banking Blog: Going Native In The World Of Finance. Luyendijk, a Dutch-born Anthropologist and journalist, has based himself in London for the last two years undertaking research, similar to the thematic concerns of this project, to understand how the financial world operates and who are those working within this sphere. There are a substantial and rich array of interviews and articles available on the blog here, which form an invaluable resource.

The City, London, February 2013 (Research image by Mark Curran)

The City, London, February 2013 (Research image by Mark Curran)

However, I wish to briefly highlight a recent commentary piece by Luyendijk, titled, Our banks are not merely out of control. They’re beyond control. The full text can be read here. At the heart of the article is the realisation of the profound dysfunctional nature and structure of this sphere and as Luyendijk also observes, the market as construct being a central source of that dysfunctionality:

The reality is that global high finance is de facto a set of interlocking cartels that divide the market among themselves and use their advantages to keep out competitors.

In spite of the devastating global economic circumstance, it would seem to be business as usual. Just over 4 weeks ago, I recorded a conversation with a banker working in The City, who forthrightly stated, ‘the market has a history, but very little, if any memory’. As this project has evolved with resonances of Luyendijk observations, we may need to remember.

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