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The path to economic crisis in Scotland

This book takes a body of ethnographic data collected in 2001-2, during a year's fieldwork at the Bank of Scotland (BoS) and HBOS, and revisits it from the perspective of the 2014-16 period. It explores the tension between the 'ethnographic present' of the author's original research and the unavoidable alteration of perspective on that data that the economic crisis has created. The original research had been planned to take place in the BoS but in 2001, before the research began, BoS had merged with the Halifax to form HBOS. The book provides a long-term historical perspective on BoS/HBOS, from inception to the 2008 financial crisis, and then a consideration of the nature of historical explanation, under the rubric of 'theory'. The main attempts to explain the proximate causes of the 2008 crisis, as well as more encompassing political economic arguments about the trajectory and dynamics of capitalism are examined. The concept of 'culture' as applied to both national groups, Scots and English, and organizations, BoS and Halifax, are also dealt with. The book examines other governing concepts such as organisational change in the business world and social change, identity and the way Scottish and English experience their own personhood, and comparative nature of ethnographic research. The conclusion reviews and draws together the themes of the book, returning to the overarching question of historical perspective and explanation.

An alternative for the twenty-first century?

After decades of flying beneath the radar, co-operation as a principle of business and socio-economic organisation is moving from the margins of economic, social and political thought into the mainstream. In both the developed and developing worlds, co-operative models are increasingly viewed as central to tackling a diverse array of issues, including global food security, climate change, sustainable economic development, public service provision, and gender inequality. This collection, drawing together research from an interdisciplinary group of scholars and co-operative practitioners, considers the different spheres in which co-operatives are becoming more prominent. Drawing examples from different national and international contexts, the book offers major insights into how co-operation will come to occupy a more central role in social and economic life in the twenty-first century.

Open Access (free)
A Crisis of Value

This book explains the fundamental causes of the bank's failure, including the inadequacy of the regulatory and supervisory framework. For some, it was the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act that was the overriding cause, not just of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, but of the financial crisis as a whole. The book argues that the cause is partly to be found both in weak and ineffective regulation and also in a programme of regulation and supervision that was simply not fit for the purpose. Lehman Brothers' long history began with three brothers, immigrants from Germany, who sold selling groceries and dry goods to local cotton farmers. Dick Fuld, the chairman and CEO, and his senior management, ignored the increased risks, choosing to rely on over-valuations of the firm's assets. The book examines the regulation of the Big Five investment banks in the context of the changes which took place in the structure of banking after the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. It describes the introduction of the European Union's Consolidated Supervision Directive in 2004. The book examines the whole issue of valuing Lehman's assets and details the regulations covering appraisals and valuations of real estate, applicable at the time and to consider Lehman's approach in the light of these regulations. It argues that that the valuation of Lehman's real estate assets was problematic to say the least, as the regulators did not require the investment banks to adopt a recognized methodology of valuation, and that Lehman's own methods were flawed.

Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design
Mark Duffield

, from this period, been feebler than the last ( Brenner, 2006 ). Recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, for example, has been the weakest and most prolonged on record ( Streeck, 2017 ). Reflecting the realities of the downturn, the new freedom to consume has, to a remarkable degree, been unequally distributed ( OECD, 2008 ; Oxfam, 2016 ). Precarity is a by-product of the long downturn. It emerges at that historic moment when the economy becomes a site of permanent emergency ( Streeck, 2011 ). A human surplus coexists with the ‘jobless’ growth

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Edward Ashbee

4 The advent of crisis and the building of narratives This chapter looks at the impact of the 2008 financial crisis and its aftermath on the Right. It charts the period of initial uncertainty as the crisis first broke and the construction of a narrative around ‘big government’ at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009. It looks, in particular, at the ways in which representations of the New Deal and the 1930s were used to change the terms of debate. Both the beginnings of the ‘Great Recession’ and the courses of action that were pursued as events unfolded have

in The Right and the recession
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Donald Trump, neoliberalism and political reconfiguration
Edward Ashbee

There are further questions that should now be asked. What are the likely consequences of Trump's victory? What are the implications of the 2016 presidential election and its outcome for political and economic processes? Answers to these questions require context. Studies of the period from the time of the 2008 financial crisis onwards have taken the concept of neoliberalism as their starting point. Although there are definitional problems and the term is less widely used in the US than in Europe, it captures the changes wrought from the late 1970s onwards

in The Trump revolt
Open Access (free)
A Party of the 99% and the Power of Debt
Tim Di Muzio
Richard H. Robbins

publicly run banking system can provide for this debt-free, with no premiums required. In other words, everyone is covered by virtue of being a member of the political community. Seventh, a Party of the 99% should fund retirement at a democratically agreed-upon age. Presently, because of the economic insecurity wrought by the 2008 financial crisis and the defunding of pension plans by governments and municipalities bankrupted by debt, retirement is out of reach for many. Consequently, the elderly are forced to continue working longer (see Table 5.1). While many may be

in Debt as Power
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Ethnography, history and the vagaries of research
Jonathan Hearn

deep dysfunction in that industry. Chapter overview The next two chapters, 2 and 3, provide a long-term historical perspective on BoS/ HBOS, from inception to the 2008 financial crisis, and then a consideration of the nature of historical explanation, under the rubric of ‘theory’. The historical chapter concentrates on the more recent history but does go back to the late seventeenth century, when the Bank of Scotland was founded. This may appear surplus to requirements, but part of my aim is to situate the ethnographic present in the larger currents of history. There

in Salvage ethnography in the financial sector
Contested boundaries and new solidarities
Sílvia Bofill-Poch

Since the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis, grassroots activism around care has significantly increased in Spain, and particularly in Catalonia. Especially significant has been activism by immigrant women who are fighting to have their rights as domestic workers recognised. Other groups, such as family carers and professionals from the public health and welfare system, have also made themselves heard, organising protests against the cutbacks in social programmes, the precariousness of public services, and the lack of recognition and

in Intimacy and mobility in an era of hardening borders
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Consolidating capitalism in the 2000s
Julian Gruin

brought about by its own unbalanced growth trajectory that had emerged over the preceding seven years. By the eve of the 2008 financial crisis, it was clear that China’s financial sector had experienced sweeping institutional change over the preceding ten years. Now spearheaded by publicly listed banking titans and a central bank with an emerging international reputation for effective and technocratic macroeconomic management, the financial system appeared to have served effectively as a lynchpin of China’s years of heady rates of economic growth that peaked at 14.2 per

in Communists constructing capitalism