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Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Publication details for Professor Paul Langley

Langley, P. Financialization and the consumer credit boom. Competition & Change. 2008;12:133-147.

Author(s) from Durham


Viewed in retrospect, the concept of 'financialization' highlights the massive growth in the issue and trading of ownership claims on all manner of instruments. It has also opened the way for research linking these changes in the financial markets to disciplinary transformations in corporate management and governance. There are, however, future prospects for financialization research once the concept is re-worked from a cultural political economy perspective and changes in the financial markets are linked to the consumer credit boom in Anglo-American economies. Grounded in the calculative creation and management of default risk by lenders, markets for asset-backed securities and credit derivatives have emerged that trade claims on the future repayments of borrowers on car loans, credit cards and so on. Disciplinary transformations also arise in everyday financial self-government. Thrift and prudence are no longer paramount in extending individual freedom and security, but are displaced by the responsible and entrepreneurial meeting, management and manipulation of outstanding obligations.