Accounting for self interest in the credit crisis

John Roberts, Megan Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Taking as its starting point Alan Greenspan’s ‘shocked disbelief’ in the failure of institutional self interest to prevent the credit crisis, this paper sets out to explore two related questions. How was self interest constructed in financial markets? And how might we account for its failure? Conceptually the paper draws upon Callon’s (1998) analysis of ‘agent–networks’, the importance this gives to the agency of non-humans, and his complementary notions of ‘framing’/‘disentanglement’ and ‘overflowing’ as these allow and subvert the calculation of self interest. Empirically, the paper then presents a sketch of these processes in the rise and then fall of the market for collateralised debt obligations (CDOs) that was central to the credit crisis. The final substantive section of the paper reflects on the role and ‘hyperreal’ interaction of accounting and models as ‘mediators’ in these processes.
LanguageEnglish
Pages856-867
Number of pages12
JournalAccounting, Organizations and Society
Volume34
Issue number6-7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

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credit
financial market
indebtedness
obligation
market
interaction
Credit crisis
Interaction
Collateralized debt obligations
Mediator
Financial markets

Keywords

  • credit crisis
  • markets
  • market competition

Cite this

Roberts, John ; Jones, Megan. / Accounting for self interest in the credit crisis. In: Accounting, Organizations and Society. 2009 ; Vol. 34, No. 6-7. pp. 856-867.
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Accounting for self interest in the credit crisis. / Roberts, John; Jones, Megan.

In: Accounting, Organizations and Society, Vol. 34, No. 6-7, 10.2009, p. 856-867.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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