Management Seminars: Daniel Tischer (University of Bristol)

12 February 2019, 12.00 PM - 12 February 2019, 1.30 PM

Daniel Tischer (University of Bristol)

1.01 Howard House

Title: Parasitic Assemblages? Rethinking financial products as networked products 


The talks aims to redraw our conceptual understanding of financial products as networked products. In doing so, and using the example of the Collateralised Debt Obligation, we depart from the notion of financial products as created by one firm. Instead, we conceive of financial products as assemblages with multiple, geographically dispersed experts involved contemporaneously. Consequently the product is a creation of a network of actors and reliant on the functional expertises involved assembling legal, accounting, mathematical and financocratic knowledges. This reconceptualising of financial products as networked products shifts our attention to alternative processes of organisation and innovation as form of bricolage (Engelen et al. 2012). Whilst profit-maximisation remains a valuable goal, we introduce additional raisons du comportement and organisation by the network actors, individually and collectively, which remain invisible to the outsider, and possibly to more peripheral actors involved in the assemblage. Here we argue that interference with the initial assemblage of CDOs over time, by means of parasitic (sub-)network behaviour (see Brown 2002, Serres 1980), can alter the intended networked assemblages purpose and undermine its built-in safeguards and the product’s (the host’s) original function. Using empirical accounts of transgressive practices (see, for example, FCIC 2011) we identify different enactments of the CDO networked product assemblage (translations). We theorise how parasitic assemblages, that is through adaptation and manipulation of the host-body (the product) by the network produces counterproductive outcomes for the financial product, the networked assemblage, investors and society at large.

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