Visualizing Capital: Space and Imagination in the Monitoring of Financial Flows


In Visualizing Capital, I analyze the relationships between global imaginations and the geographies of financial regulation. In order to better understand how monitors address frictions between national and global visions, I examine the role of technical knowledge in attempts to steer flows during the current economic crisis. The crisis has led both to an intensification of monitoring and the decimation of vast sectors of the economy. Operating within national and supranational institutions, financial regulators work to track, conceptualize, and visualize changing financial flows that exceed the boundaries of any single nation-state. Some claim that the crisis emerged from the very complexity of regulatory vision, while others argue that complexity is manufactured as a strategy to evade regulation. As such, there is a pressing need for an analysis of how gaps and erasures are produced and circulated in current regulatory capitalism, as well as greater attention to the role of alternative economic imaginaries.