Geographies of finance in a globalizing world

2019-03-04T12:02:38Z (GMT) by David Bassens Michiel Van Meeteren
This chapter provides an overview of the main drivers of financial globalization, a process characterized by the growing range and depth of financial relations enshrined in a global financial system that supersedes the international state system. What it is about finance that allows its globalization to take place so rapidly and so deeply? We argue that a main answer lies in the inherent capacity of finance to overcome space and time constraints. Finance appears to produce space, yet, co-constitutively, geographic-institutional variegation feeds back into how finance operates in the world. Resultantly, variegated geographies of finance co-evolve to an important extent with pre-existing geographies of knowledge, law, and power. The chapter offers an overview of how financial geographers have studied financial globalization, and the variegation it produces, through the lens of international financial centers, firms, flows, and products. We illustrate these perspectives through the case of postwar European financial integration by narrating how European states have sought ways to benefit from financial globalization. This application of the analytical apparatus to European financial space reveals how financial globalization has been fundamental in deepening uneven development on the continent. The chapter concludes with an urgent plea to give space a central place in future studies of finance.