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Data in SocietyChallenging Statistics in an Age of Globalisation$
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Jeff Evans, Sally Ruane, and Humphrey Southall

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447348214

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447348214.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

The financial system: money makes the world go around

The financial system: money makes the world go around

(p.213) 16 The financial system: money makes the world go around
Data in Society

Rebecca Boden

Policy Press

This chapter argues that money is data reified through financial systems, which in turn constitute and reflect dominant global power structures. Financial systems have hegemonic power over the ‘real economy’, significantly affecting the everyday lives of citizens. This is less data in society but rather data as society. Financial systems comprise a myriad of interacting actors and technologies. Financialisation is enabled through escalating debt and its securitisation, by which debt is turned into a tradeable commodity. The chapter gives examples of student debt and public service provision as examples of how our social lives are now determined by the operations of data-led financial markets. The scale and complexity of financial systems’ activities makes regulatory control and democratic accountability problematic. In particular, control over or regulation of financial systems requires access to data – transparency. The chapter discusses the manipulation of Libor – an important financial data index – and the tax system to explain how data in financial systems is relatively easy to manipulate and hide. In a globalised world, the interconnectedness, speed and scale of data all conspire to make finance a ‘dark domain’.

Keywords:   Financial systems, financialisation, power, transparency, regulation

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