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Managing Financial RisksFrom Global to Local$
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Gordon L. Clark, Adam D. Dixon, and Ashby H. B. Monk

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199557431

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557431.001.0001

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Consumer Credit, Self-Discipline, and Risk Management

Consumer Credit, Self-Discipline, and Risk Management

Chapter:
(p.280) 12 Consumer Credit, Self-Discipline, and Risk Management
Source:
Managing Financial Risks
Author(s):

Paul Langley

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199557431.003.0013

This chapter examines the embodied economy of mass market consumer credit, an area of economic activity that ballooned at the same time as the housing market. Drawing on governmentality literature, it examines the ways in which the responsibilities of borrowers for outstanding credit obligations have been transformed in the booming mass market for credit cards, such that individual borrower subjects come to perform entrepreneurial self-disciplines that extend well-beyond simply meeting repayments. The chapter emphasizes the intersection of the legal and extra-legal in the punishment of debtors, and how risk calculations in credit scoring can be understood as a technology of government. It offers reflections on the tensions and contradictions that are lived by individual credit card holders as the crisis unfolds, specifically arguing that self-disciplines of risk management fall short of completely containing the complexities and inherent uncertainty in economic life, such as precarious labour markets.

Keywords:   global finance, risk management, consumer credit, credit obligations, credit cards, repayments

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