What counts? Exploring the production of quantitative financial narratives in London's corporate finance industry
Author: Hall, Sarah
Source: Journal of Economic Geography, Volume 6, Number 5, November 2006 , pp. 661-678(18)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:This article examines quantitative finance research practices in London's corporate finance industry. These calculative devices, produced by research analysts, are built around the modelling of a suite of financial metrics. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in London, the article argues that the way such techniques were deployed in the early 2000s is best understood by combining insights from the social studies of finance on the power of financial formulae with an appreciation of the epistemic communities of corporate finance research practice. In particular, I document how the conflict of interest cases brought against investment banks, the significant redundancies made across financial services in London at the time and the bursting of the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) bubble encouraged analysts to construct a rhetoric of ‘scientific rigour’ around their use of quantitative financial narratives that they then used to legitimize the use of such techniques to both colleagues and clients.
Keywords: JEL classifications: B59, D83, G21
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: November 2006
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