ABSTRACT

Financial market governance, by far the most influential and important economic policy field with a sizeable impact on everyday life, is conducted largely behind closed doors, excluding those who are most affected by the spill-over effects into other areas of the “real” economy. Its power to shape and determine the structure of the global economic system is immense. Particularly the control over credit is a form of structural power2 affecting financial, economic, political and social outcomes of every nation and also of ordinary citizens around the globe. Those who are in the position to create credit will, as Susan Strange pointed out many years ago, control the capitalist economy.3 At the same time, the creation of policy rules that limit the discretion of national policy makers with respect to monetary and financial sector policies, allows the banks, insurance companies, hedge funds and other financial intermediaries to move money around the world and create new financial instruments. These policy rules exercise a structural power in that they have inscribed in them a series of biases that have gender as well as class-and race-based outcomes.4