This collection of essays addressesing the trauma of the global financial crisis, and debatesing the links between psychology, money and economic crashes.
Responding to the trauma of the current global financial crisis, this book brings together an eclectic group of psychoanalysts, philosophers, cultural theorists and historians to debate the links between psychology, money and economic crashes. It issues a double challenge -– to economists who define economic behaviour as necessarily rational and self-interested, while relegating other models of monetary thought to psychopathology; and to psychoanalysts who find it hard to confront the economics of their own profession as a business, while neuroticising and biologising any economic behaviour that exceeds their own unspoken yardstick of ‘commonsensical’ financial self-interest.
Contributors to this book investigate issues as diverse as: the century-old divorce between psychological and economic explanations of human behaviour and current efforts to repair it; the gender-politics, ethics and psychology of economists’ attempts to explain today’s rolling crisis in money markets; psychoanalytic theories of financial investment, risk and the ‘jouissance’ of devastating loss; the rise and cataclysmic fall of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme; the squandering of fortunes on rubbishy art in times of financial crisis; the attraction of Deleuzian speculation versus Freudian investment; the nexus between political economy and libidinal economy; the mystifying effects of treating ‘the market’ as a subject capable of ‘speaking’, ‘reacting’ and ‘punishing’; and the fate of desire in postmodern, hyper-commoditised culture.
A number of the essays in this book are based on contributions to the conference on Psychoanalysis, Money and the Economy hosted by the Freud Museum at Birkbeck College, University of London, in 2010, which were subsequently collected in new formations 72.