Here’s my new project: a podcast! It’s titled How To Build a Stock Exchange: Making Finance Fit for the Future. It’s a story of stock markets and how they came to be so important in our world. It will feature my own work and showcase the research of the sociological studies of finance as it builds an account of the evolution of financial markets and their place in a responsible, sustainable future. I introduce it as follows:
Finance matters. We’re off to build a stock exchange, but first of all I’ll spend a little time explaining why financial markets matter. This episode explores how financial markets – a crucial mechanism for the distribution of wealth – are implicated in our present political malaise and looks at some of the ways that finance has squeezed us over the last three decades.
Episode One is called ‘Finance Matters and here’s how it starts…
A famous philosopher once said – ‘It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.’ It was Adam Smith, of course, born not far down the road from me in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, and the father of modern economics. He once walked to neighbouring Dunfermline in his dressing gown, apparently, so deep was he in thoughts, musings like this, and ‘Nobody but a beggar chuses to depend chiefly upon the benevolence of his fellow-citizens.’
From those words, published in 1776, a whole global order has sprung. We can call it capitalism, and at its centre lies a strange entity, so much part of our lives that we simply take it for granted.
I’m talking about the stock exchange…
You can find transcripts and audio here, or follow on iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher.