Construction and Use of the Future in Financial Markets
Elena Esposito, University of Modena-Reggio Emilia
The recent financial crisis offers an opportunity to take up a classic theme in economic theory, one that Keynes raised but one that has somehow remained in the background: the positive role of time in the economy. The openness and unpredictability of the future can be seen as an entrepreneurial resource allowing inventiveness and imagination to take place.
Financial markets accentuate and radicalize this aspect of time and operate primarily with future possibilities: they intertwine, compensate, imagine, and deny these opportunities, producing profits from the fact that the future is unknown. Many mysterious aspects of "virtual finance" become more comprehensible by referring to this temporal dimension.
Elena Esposito teaches Sociology of Communication at the University of Modena-Reggio Emilia.
Among her recent publications are The Future of Futures: The Time of Money in Society and Finance, Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, 2011; Die Fiktion der wahrscheinlichen Realität, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt a.M., 2007;
The Structures of Uncertainty: Performativity and Unpredictability in Economic Operations, Economy and Society, forthcoming.