How investment banking and playing the market moved from Wall Street to Main Street
Financialization of Daily Life
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While trillions of dollars came and went in the stock market boom of the 1990s, the image of "every man and woman a CEO" may turn out to be the era's lasting legacy. Business news, once reserved to specialized papers or sections of the larger news of the day, came to the forefront in cable television and in cultural images of how ordinary people, through the internet and other avenues could not only master their financial life, but move money and equity around with the ease of a financial titan. Financialization of Daily Life looks at how this transformation occurred, and how it is just now becoming a significant, and troubling, aspect of our political and cultural life.
Randy Martin takes us through all of the aspects of our "financialization." He examines how the shift in economic life arose not only from changes in culture, but also from new policy priorities that emphasize controlling inflation over promoting growth. He offers a close reading of self-help literature that teaches parents how to rear financially literate children and to instruct adults in the fundamentals of fiscal management. He examines just what a society that treats financial investment as a national past time really looks like, and how that society is transforming the world.
In a country rocked by scandals in accounting and banking, the identification ordinary citizens make with, and the risk with which they engage in, the stock market calls into question the very basis of our economic system. Randy Martin spells out in clear terms the implications our financial doingsand undoinghave for the way we organize our lives, and, especially, our money.
"[T]his is an important book which deserves to be widely read."
"[Randy Martin] must be applauded for his many courageous forays into the literature of financial self-management, and for the often entertainingly grotesque examples he has brought back from those expeditions."
"Randy Martin's Financialization of Daily Life is deeply immersed in its historical place and time, and as such it confronts the reader with a provocative combination of recognition and disorientation."
In the series
Labor in Crisis, edited by Stanley Aronowitz.
The hope for a revived progressive movement in American politics and culture depends to a large extent on the possibility of a revived labor movement. This series will stimulate debate and discussion about the state of the American labor movement and its relation to the future of America by publishing short, provocative books that offer varying analyses and prescriptions for labor's revival as well as diverse assessments of its prospects. Books in the series will be relevant to a vision of the labor movement that presupposes movements and people who care about the chances of more equality, more democratic participation in the institutions of political and social life, and more power for those traditionally excluded from economic and political decision making.