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Author: Susan Strange

Originally released by Basil Blackwell in 1986, and then re-released by Manchester University Press in 1998, Casino capitalism is a cutting-edge discussion of international financial markets, the way they behave and the power they wield. It examines money's power for good as well as its terrible disruptive, destructive power for evil. Money is seen as being far too important to leave to bankers and economists to do with as they think best. The raison d'être of Casino Capitalism is to expose the development of a financial system that has increasingly escaped the calming influences of democratic control.

This new edition includes a powerful new introduction provided by Matthew Watson that puts the book it in its proper historical context, as well as identifying its relevance for the modern world. It will have a wide reaching audience, appealing both to academics and students of economics and globalization as well as the general reader with interests in capitalism and economic history.

Abstract only
Susan Strange

Chapter 1 Casino capitalism The Western financial system is rapidly coming to resemble nothing as much as a vast casino. Every day games are played in this casino that involve sums of money so large that they cannot be imagined. At night the games go on at the other side of the world. In the towering office blocks that dominate all the great cities of the world, rooms are full of chain-smoking young men all playing these games. Their eyes are fixed on computer screens flickering with changing prices. They play by intercontinental telephone or by tapping

in Casino Capitalism
Abstract only
Susan Strange

great study was its essential neutrality. Instead of having to trust a person, you could trust this neutral, stable medium of exchange and store of value. Its stability, he thought, allowed people to put their trust in values expressed in money. To us, that seems a rather naive notion. But writing in 1900, it was hardly surprising that he should think of money as a source of trust 88 Casino capitalism and confidence. It would be hard to think of a date – at least in Europe – when the recent experience of monetary stability had been greater. Yet Simmel was very much

in Casino Capitalism
Abstract only
Susan Strange

. There was a time, not so long ago, when governments managed quite well without population censuses, and without detailed statistics about the national income or the balance of payments with the rest of the world. Now all these things are 102 Casino capitalism regarded as essential to good modern government. The question, however, in the context of a disordered monetary system is whether there are other things which now lie – as they did not before – inside the area of significant ignorance for national governments. Assuming this to be the case, it could be the

in Casino Capitalism
Abstract only
Susan Strange

Depression; and many lost their lives in the Second World War. In the current economic crisis, if the United States carries on acting unilaterally and continues to take what one American academic has called ‘domesticist’ decisions (i.e. decisions that take into account only domestic, national considerations) it is not just the third world or the Europeans and Japanese who will suffer (Nau 1984). American society too will be affected if an end is not put to the casino capitalism which we see developing all around us and in every major city in the world. Some parts of

in Casino Capitalism
Abstract only
Susan Strange

patients have undergone surgery that turned out to have been unnecessary? How many sufferers from anorexia nervosa have been sent off to see psychiatrists when – some experts say – all they needed was something to correct a dietary 124 Casino capitalism deficiency of zinc? How many electric shock treatments were discovered afterwards to have been inappropriate? But at least the medical profession does not indulge so often as the academic profession in the other error of ‘discovering’ a solution that experience has already shown to be unattainable. In my view, this is

in Casino Capitalism
Susan Strange

the market and on the side of political authority. A change in the size or character of the market – perhaps even the relations of supply and demand within it – will face authority with a decision either to respond or not to respond. A change 22 Casino capitalism in the locus of authority over the market, or perhaps in the objectives and priorities of that authority, can also bring about a key decision. But whatever the origin, whether the change originates with the market or with the authority, the decision will be made by a political authority. It may be a

in Casino Capitalism
Susan Strange

States standing clear above all others. It would be hard enough for the Americans to accept such responsibility for the economic ills of other countries if there were more certainty and agreement about what ought to be done and more confidence in how, politically, to get it done. Lacking both, the hot seat is all the more uncomfortable and the monetary interpretation consequently all the more unpopular. 52 Casino capitalism The technical version of determinism Even more popular than putting the emphasis on trade is to find some reason why whatever happened was bound

in Casino Capitalism
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With an introduction by Benjamin J. Cohen
Author: Susan Strange

This book begins with a recapitulation of the main themes of Strange's earlier Casino Capitalism, stressing the major policy decisions and non-decisions that, in her opinion, had first allowed financial markets seemingly to outgrow governmental control. It adds a number of newer systemic developments that had emerged in the years after Casino Capitalism was published. Following this opening tour d'horizon, the book evaluates many of these developments in greater detail, covering the revolution in information technology interstate politics, contagion risks, global debt, money laundering and the roles of both national governments and multilateral agencies such as the International Monetary Fund and Bank for International Settlements. Great emphasis is placed on the relationship between the United States and Japan, the 'US-Japan axis', which is considered crucial to the effective management of financial crises. All the strings of Strange's discussion are pulled together where she turns her eyes to the future. Most financial research at the time seemed biased toward midlevel theory building, focusing primarily on key relationships within a broader structure whose characteristics were assumed, normally, to be given and stable. The book discusses hypotheses about the most important changes that have affected the global financial system and the international political economy. Key decisions, or non-decisions in the case of failures to act when positive action would have been possible, are also discussed.

Susan Strange

, there was nothing to celebrate. Millions faced job losses and ­unemployment. Family businesses painstakingly built up over the years were bankrupted. The future looked dark indeed for the once-proud 1 2 Mad money ‘tiger economies’ of east Asia. It was a coincidence that the book to which this is some sort of sequel, Casino Capitalism, had ended with just such a graphic image of the financial operators drinking champagne, while outside the tower-block offices other people were having a hard time of it (Strange 1986). The only difference was that the imaginary

in Mad Money