Speculative Fictions: Crime, Currency and the Financial Thriller

In the wake of the financial crisis of 2007-2008, a spate of popular financial thrillers appeared, many of them written by former Wall Street bankers and money managers. Behind the high-octane intrigue of their potboiler plots, these novels typically share two related ambitions: a didactic impulse to demystify the social and intellectual world of high finance and a moralistic impulse to humanize the abstract workings of financial markets through narratives of virtue and villainy. This part of our presentation will examine recent Wall Street thrillers alongside theorists of finance capitalism from Hilferding to Arrighi and Jameson in order to attend to the novelists’ representations of the geography of global capital flows, political and economic conflicts among nation-states and transnational corporations, and the cultural milieus of the financier-writers’ avatars.