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Fall 2018

ZONE BOOKS

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Lecture
Michel Feher: Public Lecture at City University of London
Location

City University of London College Building A130 St John Street London EC1V 4PB

Details

Nov 29 / 6:30pm

To coincide with the publication of his new book, Rated Agency: Investee Politics in a Speculative Age, Michel Feher will be giving a public lecture at City, University of London, followed by a Q&A. The book is sure to spark heated debate, both for its analysis of financial power and its call to turn the tools of finance to alternative ends. Yannis Varoufakis called it “a must-read for anyone seeking to escape the melancholy of the Trump era by building an effective progressive movement against a creeping dystopia.”

The event is organised through the Finance and Society Network (FSN), with support from the City Political Economy Research Centre (CITYPERC). It is open to all and free of charge.

ABOUT THE BOOK: The hegemony of finance compels a new orientation for everyone and everything: companies care more about the moods of their shareholders than about longstanding commercial success; governments subordinate citizen welfare to appeasing creditors; and individuals are concerned less with immediate income from labor than appreciation of their capital goods, skills, connections, and reputations.

That firms, states, and people depend more on their ratings than on the product of their activities also changes how capitalism is resisted. For activists, the focus of grievances shifts from the extraction of profit to the conditions under which financial institutions allocate credit. While the exploitation of employees by their employers has hardly been curbed, the power of investors to select investees — to decide who and what is deemed creditworthy — has become a new site of social struggle.

In clear and compelling prose, Michel Feher explains the extraordinary shift in conduct and orientation generated by financialization. Above all, he articulates the new political resistances and aspirations that investees draw from their rated agency.