02.148 Geographies of Money and Finance

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Money flows like mercury. It has entered every sphere of the world economy, transforming human relations over time and space. From pension funds to cryptocurrencies, societies revolve around finance. This course is open to students who are interested in learning about financial topics from a social scientific perspective, and will be helpful for those keen in careers in finance. Understanding the multi-scalar manifestations of the geographies of money and finance, and their influence in shaping relations (political, economic and social) are essential to designing better financial systems and applications.

The themes covered include financial actors, institutions, practices, ethics, technologies and innovations. Using examples such as offshore tax havens and financial crises, we shall learn how spatial concepts like space, place and scale can explain contemporary processes in finance. How do finance professionals construct their authority through calculative practices like derivatives pricing and risk management? What roles do international financial centers (IFCs) play in the command and control of the global economy? How does financial innovation occur across space? This course will help students to develop a more critical view of the nature of money and finance, and gain a deeper appreciation of the many ways our lives are becoming increasingly intertwined with finance.

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Instructor
Gordon Tan