And while these products and processes often appear mystifying, they contain some important unifying features.Many derivatives offer the ability to lock in future prices as a means to manage risk.
The market, particularly during the early days of capitalism, was expanded physically — boundaries were geographically stretched by sail ship, colonial whip and surveyor stick; but the market was also extended through the reconfiguration of relationships and cultural practices toward the extraction of value and profit.
Internet dating can easily be read as the latest example of marketization.
It’s an industry that has grown to be worth over £2 billion by essentially extracting a surplus from the social practice of meeting potential lovers and partners.
fter a breakup a friend will inevitably turn to you over a drink, look you in the eye and declare, “It’s time to move on.” Others join in approval.
Your increasingly desperate calls to just be left alone are met by deaf ears, and your excuse that you never meet anyone when you go out no longer holds any water.
“It’s easy to meet people,” they say, “I mean, haven’t you tried Internet dating?
” Marx argued that capitalism overcomes its tendency toward stagnation through commodification — the “transformation of relationships, formerly untainted by commerce, into commercial relationships, relationships of exchange, of buying and selling.” This extension of the market provides new channels for investment and profit that help capital avoid recession and depression.
Along these lines, Slavoj Zizek has bemoaned Internet dating as an extension of commodification,the “life-hacking apps… he new frontiers of commodification and capital accumulation are always uneven, murky, and hard to recognize at their birth.
[as] self-Taylorizing programs” central to a process of self-commodification. The rise of finance — financialization — is no exception.
But when have ideas, practices, and concepts of love ever been separated from material conditions? Cutting through fuzzy notions that “something structural” has changed, two Australian academics — Mike Rafferty and Dick Bryan — offer a clear-eyed analysis of the frontiers of financial innovation and accumulation along with the mechanisms and instruments of change, particularly the micro and macro manifestations and implications of what the authors dub “risk shifting.” At the core of Bryan and Rafferty’s argument is the idea that the frontier for financial innovation and accumulation has been shaped and expanded by risk and uncertainty — specifically, how financial markets have been able to develop products to trade risk and uncertainty.
Pick up any Jane Austen novel and the relationship between the economic system and the practices of courting and of romance, and how they have changed in relation to each other over time, are abundantly clear. The emergence of tradable products like derivatives — including things like options, swaps, futures, asset-backed securities — and processes such as securitization have been central not only to the explosion of new financial markets and their associated trades but also opens up questions about who is left holding the risks for the system as a whole.