Inhabiting Technology: The Global Lifeform of Financial Markets

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2002
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Bruegger, Urs
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Current Sociology. 2002, 50(3), pp. 389-405. ISSN 0011-3921. Available under: doi: 10.1177/0011392102050003006
Zusammenfassung

What will 21 st-century global social forms be like? In this article, we focus on the 'candidate system': this emerged in the late 19705 from the world of nation states, a world from which it has disembedded but on whose existence it thrives, foreshadowing things to come in other areas (though the lifeform may also simply disappear under certain regulatory circumstances). In the 1970s, first the USA (1971), then major European countries, including Britain by 1979, and finally Japan in the early 1980s, abolished exchange controls, effectively eliminating the Bretton Woods Agreement of fixed exchange rates in place since 1944 and allowing foreign exchange trading for purposes of speculation. In 1986, Hamilton and Biggart (1993) observed that the dealing rooms of the world had taken off; with an average of US$150 billion and as much as $250 billion being traded around the globe, double the volume of five years before. In April 1998, according to the Bank for International Settlements' latest Triennial Survey, the average daily turnover in traditional global foreign exchange instruments had risen from $36.4 billion in 1974 to $1.5 trillion (BIS, 1998).Two-thirds of this volume derives from 'over the counter' transactions, i.e. from inter-dealer transactions in a global banking network of institutions. Banks had responded quickly to the business opportunities which arose with the freedom of capital that the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system initiated. They also responded to an increasing demand stimulated by volatile exchange and interest rates reflecting various crises (e.g. the energy crisis of 1974) and to the tremendous growth in pension fund and other institutional holdings that needed to be invested.

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300 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie
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ISO 690KNORR, Karin, Urs BRUEGGER, 2002. Inhabiting Technology: The Global Lifeform of Financial Markets. In: Current Sociology. 2002, 50(3), pp. 389-405. ISSN 0011-3921. Available under: doi: 10.1177/0011392102050003006
BibTex
@article{Knorr2002Inhab-11737,
  year={2002},
  doi={10.1177/0011392102050003006},
  title={Inhabiting Technology: The Global Lifeform of Financial Markets},
  number={3},
  volume={50},
  issn={0011-3921},
  journal={Current Sociology},
  pages={389--405},
  author={Knorr, Karin and Bruegger, Urs}
}
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