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Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Publication details for Professor Paul Langley

Langley, P. Financial flows: Spatial imaginaries of speculative circulations. In: Christophers, B., Leyshon, A. & Mann, G. Money and Finance after the Crisis: Critical Thinking for Uncertain Times. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons; 2017:69-90.

Author(s) from Durham


Viewed from the vantage points provided by political economy and a range of allied critical theories, a spatiality of circulation is a defining feature of capitalist money and finance. For financial markets in particular, it is the capacity to commodify credit–debt relations, and thereby render them transferable and exchangeable, which is crucial to the opportunities they afford for speculation. The chapter theorizes and analyses how speculative circulations are also the object of an array of spatial imaginaries, constitutive representations of financial flows that position them as vital to wealth, well-being and security in contemporary Anglo-American, neoliberal life. It focuses on three particular spatial imaginaries of speculative circulations that loomed large in the governance of the global financial crisis; namely, the ‘liquidity’ of money markets, the ‘toxicity’ of capital markets and the ‘casino’ practices of banking.