Grant TypeHunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
Institutional AffiliationCuenca, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9884
Approve DateOctober 9, 2019
Project TitleNunez, Jorge (Universidad de Cuenca & FLACSO - Ecuador ) "Markets of Excitement: Debt and Playfulness in Times of Austerity in Catalonia "
JORGE NUNEZ, University of Cuenca and FLACSO, Cuenca, Ecuador, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship to aid research and writing on ‘Markets of Excitement: Debt and Playfulness in Times of Austerity in Catalonia.’ Markets of Excitement theorizes how play arises in the field of finance through three modes of speculating with debt that gained currency during the Great Spanish Recession (2007-2015), including regional government bonds, corporate debt obligations, and a financial derivative known as ‘contract for differences’ (CfDs). The broader context of the book includes the rise of Catalan secessionism and the Eurozone crisis. In Markets of Excitement , debt is not inherently productive or destructive, but it is a site of constant improvisation, contestation, and negotiation. Play theory is instrumental to understanding the multiple registers of affect, knowledge, and value that inform how people use debt to respond to economic uncertainty and financialization. Markets of Excitement is not an invitation to imagine an inclusive and fair global financial system. Financialization could hardly develop without extractivist and predatory forms of financial inclusion. However, investment bankers and professional traders are neither alone nor are they the only ones excited about speculative financial capitalism. Everyday people are also invested in various processes of financialization. During this fellowship, an article was also published in relation to this work in Economic Anthropology (2021, Vol. 8, Issue 1).