Introduction: Capitalism and the Boundaries of Finance

Alex Preda

in Framing Finance

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780226679310
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226679334 | DOI:
Introduction: Capitalism and the Boundaries of Finance

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This chapter investigates the three main features of the boundaries of finance. The first feature of the boundaries of finance is the observation of prices without physical copresence. This feature is referred to as microscopic, because it works like an instrument by bringing small entities of information closer to the observer. The second feature is known as telscopic, and it's role is telscopic, bringing together small entities and allowing for the observation of their relationship. This feature, in other words, is the financial telescope and this allows for the observation of prices in their self-referential context—that is, other prices—from afar. The last feature accounts for the place of financial markets in the larger contexts of the economy, society, and the state, and provides categories that may help to make sense of markets and their actors in these contexts. While observing prices and constellations of prices presupposes a focus on a specific entity, observing financial markets in their relationship to economic, social, and political entities means looking at several entities at once, entities which may combine in different ways. This aspect is more like a kaleidoscope, through which the observer looks at different entities combining in certain patterns. These three interrelated observational modes are thought to be central for the boundaries of finance under modern capitalism.

Keywords: capitalism; boundaries of finance; financial markets; prices; economy; society

Chapter.  10995 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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