Cultural Foundations of Finance

This course is organised as a series of sessions which will be divided into approximately in two halves. The first half will consist of a discussion led by students and the other half will be a lecture by the instructor. The basic idea is to treat finance as a cultural, social and political system, as well as an economic one. The key ideas to be explored will be risk, innovation, speculation, salvation, profit, debt and reward. These subjects will be examined by reading a set of conceptual texts (Schumpeter, Weber, Appadurai, Konings, Lee and Martin, Mackenzie) in relation to a set of empirical studies of actual markets, financial players and instruments (Liens, Zaloom, Rudnyckij, Miyazaki and Koenings). The goal is to develop a set of conceptual tools which will see contemporary finance as based on a set of meanings, values, ethics, and orientations that shape both its major contributions and its biggest deficits. 

This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.