La Fabrique juridique des swaps
Quand le droit organise la financiarisation du monde
The legal construction of swaps
When law organizes the financialization of the world
Six and a half times the value of global production. That is how much the swaps market represents today. For some they are fantastic tools for managing risk, for others they are eminently suspicious instruments of speculation. Either way, these lucrative derivatives have been spectacularly successful since their invention in the early 1980s. Listed among the guilty parties in the 2007-2008 financial crisis, they have become emblematic of the financialization of the world economy.
There are more discrete actors who have worked alongside bankers to allow these cash flow contracts to prosper on the fringes of major regulations – lawyers.
By constructing legal jargon specific to swaps, standardization of exchange contracts, interpretation and argumentation in court, eminent American and international law firms have set the norms of these new markets. Their techniques have spread around the world and given the financial industry considerable autonomy. They have revolutionized the legal culture of the business world.
This book reveals the legal aspect of financial globalization, which is both frequently overlooked and fundamentally crucial.
Pascale Cornut St-Pierre
Pascale Cornut St-Pierre is a professor at the Law Faculty of the University of Ottowa (civil law) and associate researcher with the Perelman Center of Philosophy of Law at the Université libre de Bruxelles.