Economy Of Words: Communicative Imperatives In Central Banks

Paperback | December 9, 2013

byDouglas R. Holmes

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Markets are artifacts of language—so Douglas R. Holmes argues in this deeply researched look at central banks and the people who run them. Working at the intersection of anthropology, linguistics, and economics, he shows how central bankers have been engaging in communicative experiments that predate the financial crisis and continue to be refined amid its unfolding turmoil—experiments that do not merely describe the economy, but actually create its distinctive features.
 
Holmes examines the New York District Branch of the Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, and the Bank of England, among others, and shows how officials there have created a new monetary regime that relies on collaboration with the public to achieve the ends of monetary policy. Central bankers, Holmes argues, have shifted the conceptual anchor of monetary affairs away from standards such as gold or fixed exchange rates and toward an evolving relationship with the public, one rooted in sentiments and expectations. Going behind closed doors to reveal the intellectual world of central banks,Economy of Words offers provocative new insights into the way our economic circumstances are conceptualized and ultimately managed. 

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Markets are artifacts of language—so Douglas R. Holmes argues in this deeply researched look at central banks and the people who run them. Working at the intersection of anthropology, linguistics, and economics, he shows how central bankers have been engaging in communicative experiments that predate the financial crisis and continue t...

Douglas R. Holmes is professor of anthropology at Binghamton University. He is the author of Cultural Disenchantments: Worker Peasantries in Northeast Italy and Integral Europe: Fast Capitalism, Multiculturalism, Neofascism. He lives in Binghamton, New York. 

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:280 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:December 9, 2013Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022608762X

ISBN - 13:9780226087627

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Table of Contents

Preface: Backstories
Chapter 1. Creating a Monetary Regime
Chapter 2. Communicative Imperatives
Chapter 3.  Markets Are a Function of Language
Chapter 4. Apprehensions
Chapter 5. Kultur
Chapter 6. Temporality
Chapter 7. Simulations
Chapter 8. Inflationary Tempest
Chapter 9. Liquidity-Trap Economics
Chapter 10. The Overheard Conversation
Chapter 11. Intelligence
Chapter 12. Representational Labor
Chapter 13. Manifesto for a Public Currency
Chapter 14. Totality of Promises
Notes
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Douglas R. Holmes has performed a uniquely important service by probing the professional intimacy of the banking world. He shows us that economists, despite their claims to scientific precision, often resemble anthropologists reporting from the field.  But, as he demonstrates, they also deploy their narratives to draw their publics into the construction of self-fulfilling prophecies, thereby refashioning economic dynamics to meet each new contingency as it arises.  No one who reads this book will come away still believing that language is immaterial; Holmes’s elegantly crafted, deeply informed, and wickedly critical analysis demonstrates how the economists’ rhetoric and narrative strategies shape, rather than follow, the realities of today’s wildly unpredictable global economy.”