Michel Aglietta, André Orléan

Currencies: Between Violence and Trust Publication date : April 1, 2002

Europeans'infatuation with their new currency is in sharp contrast with the despair experienced by Argentineans who have been ruined as a consequence of parity between their currency and the U.S. dollar. Orthodox economic theory does not take currency into account. It either ignores it, in order to carry out investigations in real terms, or treats it as though it were a neutral factor and implements policies that maintain it in this role.
In the present book, Michel Aglietta and André Orléan, leaders of the heterodox economic school known as 'regulatory', set out to show how, on the contrary, currencies are at the heart of most economic relations, from the simplest (exchanges between two agents) to the most complex (international financial relations). Combining Marx and Girard, they analyse currency and its numerous properties. Currency acts as an intermediary in exchanges, it serves as a means of conserving wealth and helps to socialise economic behaviour through imitation.
Not content with abstract analysis ' which would not explain the economic phenomena presented by history and day-to-day life ' the authors have applied their analytical tools in an effort to understand modern and contemporary monetary crises. They have also applied these tools to explaining the innovation represented by the euro.

Michel Aglietta teaches at the University of Paris X-Nanterre. He is a member of the Institut de France and of the French Prime Minister's Economic Council.
André Orléan is a head of research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.