Interpellating Finance – a dramaturgical model for green bond pricing
Keywords:Green bonds, labels, interpellation, Althusser, Laclau, Butler
Global financial governance is turning green. Attempting to tackle climate change, financial elites seem to swing confusingly between hesitant and action aimed at relieving the contradictions that led to the crisis, and opportunistic co-optation of critical discourse. Drawing on the work of Althusser, Laclau and Butler, we describe the historical emergence of this green financial apparatus and the related proliferation of green labels and signifiers. Green labels serve as the malleable ground on which a diversity of meanings and positions are articulated and temporarily fixed. Labels are the names through which financiers are interpellated and constituted as green ideological subjects. Through an analysis of the mechanisms of green bonds pricing, and of the actors involved in a green bond boot camp, we contend that the added value of green financial instruments, called the greenium, cannot merely be attributed to the performativity of models and formulas for risk engineering. Rather, it is the material effect of a subjectivation apparatus attuned to the existing relations of production. Ultimately, the greenness which becomes encrypted in the greenium is a process of translation of language of capital valorisation, performed through the tendency of capital to reproduce relations of exploitation in transitional time.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Alessandro Maresca, Giulia Dal Maso, Aneil Tripathy
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