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Loaded Subjects : Psychoanalysis, Money and the Global Financial Crisis

Edited by David Bennett

Loaded Subjects cover Responding to the trauma of the current global financial crisis, this book brings together an eclectic group of psychoanalysts, philosophers, cultural theorists and historians to debate the links between psychology, money and economic crashes. It issues a double challenge - to economists who define economic behaviour as necessarily rational and self-interested, while relegating other models of monetary thought to psychopathology; and to psychoanalysts who find it hard to confront the economics of their own profession as a business, while neuroticising and biologising any economic behaviour that exceeds their own unspoken yardstick of 'commonsensical' financial self-interest.

Contributors to this book investigate issues as diverse as: the century-old divorce between psychological and economic explanations of human behaviour and current efforts to repair it; the gender-politics, ethics and psychology of economists' attempts to explain today's rolling crisis in money markets; psychoanalytic theories of financial investment, risk and the 'jouissance' of devastating loss; the rise and cataclysmic fall of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme; the squandering of fortunes on rubbishy art in times of financial crisis; the attraction of Deleuzian speculation versus Freudian investment; the nexus between political economy and libidinal economy; the mystifying effects of treating 'the market' as a subject capable of 'speaking', 'reacting' and 'punishing'; and the fate of desire in postmodern, hyper-commoditised culture.

Contributors: David Bennett, Geoff Boucher, Claire Colebrook, Paul Crosthwaite, Karl Figlio, Bruce Fink, Stephen Frosh, Jean-Joseph Goux, Campbell Jones, Viktor Mazin, Manya Steinkoler, Matthew Sharpe, Bernard Stiegler and Tan Waelchli.

A number of the essays in this book are based on contributions to the conference on Psychoanalysis, Money and the Economy hosted by the Freud Museum at Birkbeck College, University of London, in 2010, which were subsequently collected in new formations 72.

David Bennett is Principal Research Fellow in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne and Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies at the University of Essex. His books include Multicultural States: Rethinking Difference and Identity (1998 and 2002); and the forthcoming The Currency of Desire: Essays in Libidinal Economy, Psychoanalysis and Sexual Revolution (2013).


Part I. Psychoanalysis and Financial crisis

1. David Bennett
Homo Oeconomicus vs Homo Psychologicus
: A Critique of Pure Reason in Economics and Psychoanalysis

2. Karl Figlio
The Financial Crisis: A Psychoanalytic View of Illusion, Greed and Reparation in Masculine Phantasy

3. Bruce Fink
Analysand and Analyst in the Global Economy, or Why Anyone in their Right Mind Would Pay for an Analysis

4. Manya Steinkoler
Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed: A Lacanian Reading of the Bernie Madoff Scandal

5. Claire Colebrook
Beyond (Good) Investment and (Evil) Speculation

6. Paul Crosthwaite
What a Waste of Money: Expenditure, the Death Drive, and the Contemporary Art Market

Part II Psychoanalysis, Money and the Economy

7. Campbell Jones
What Kind of Subject is the Market?

8. Viktor Mazin
The Meaning of Money: Russia, the Ruble, the Dollar and Psychoanalysis

9. Tan Waelchli
Psychoanalytic Reflections on the Nature of Money: Authority, Regulation of Standards, and the Law of the Father

10. Jean-Joseph Goux
Pleasure and Pain: At the Crossroad of Psychoanalysis and Political Economy

11. Geoff Boucher
Financial Crisis, Social Pathologies and 'Generalised and Matt Sharpe Perversion': Questioning Žižek's Diagnosis of the Times

12. Stephen Frosh
Psychoanalysis, Antisemitism and the Miser

13. Bernard Stiegler
Pharmacology of Desire: Drive-Based Capitalism and Libidinal Dis-economy

Paperback, 224pp, All rights L&W.
ISBN: 9781907103551

Publication date: September 2012
Price: £16.99

Also available on Kindle