The Connexionist Nature of Modern Financial Markets: From a Domination to a Justice Order?<sup>1</sup>

Isabelle Huault and Hélène Rainelli-Weiss

in New Spirits of Capitalism?

Published in print February 2013 | ISBN: 9780199595341
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191750755 | DOI:
The Connexionist Nature of Modern Financial Markets: From a Domination to a Justice Order?1

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In this paper, we notice that a large proportion of modern financial markets, and the near totality of derivatives markets are OTC markets where bilateral contracts are exchanged between counterparties in the absence of any centralised structure. Our thesis is that to be useful, a critical perspective on modern finance should take full account of the nature of these markets, which exhibit no transparency of prices and offer little guarantee as for the efficiency of competition mechanisms. We propose to characterise the nature of OTC markets using Boltanski and Chiapello's concept (1999/2005) of the connexionist world. This provides, we argue, a renewed perspective on the role of innovation in modern finance. We then emphasize the difficulty of the connexionist grammar of worth to develop principles of justice in OTC markets, which are characterised by their technicality, their deterritorialization and the infinity of potential members. We suggest potential tracks to struggle more efficiently against the drifts of connexionist logic as they arise on financial markets and their spillover effects on societies.

Keywords: OTC markets; social construction of markets; financial innovation; connexionist world; connexionist order

Chapter.  11186 words. 

Subjects: Political Economy

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