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The Biopolitics of Transactional Capitalism

Author(s): Majia Holmer Nadesan

Journal: MediaTropes
ISSN 1913-6005

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 23;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: bio-convergence | bioconvergence | biopolitics | finance | derivatives | recession | thanatopolitics | disaster capitalism | high-frequency trading | high-speed trading

In the spring of 2010, major newspapers in the U.S. announced arrival of a “recovery” from the economic recession precipitated by the 2008 financial crisis. This essay examines the biopolitics of recovery in the wake of the disaster capitalism of the financial meltdown, arguing that twentieth-century social welfare biopolitics that derived wealth from the populace have been replaced by new forms of financial power whose global circulations and convergences exploit wealth informatically and transactionally, rather than biopolitically, through devices such as derivatives and technologies such a high-frequency trading. Carbon derivatives trading is used to illustrate how wealth can be generated informatically from a thanatopolitics of destruction.
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