Figuring Flows: Urban Transport Myths of Trading

  • Miriam Meissner
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Globalization, Culture and Society book series (PSGCS)


This chapter explores how crisis narratives associate imaginaries of urban subway and limousine transport with financial market dynamics that are produced by the relatively new mechanisms of digital and derivative trading. In particular, the chapter analyzes Oliver Stone’s GFC film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010), Sebastian Faulk’s crisis novel A Week in December (2010), and David Cronenberg’s film Cosmopolis (2012), which is based on Don DeLillo’s 2001 novel of the same name. It argues that, on the one hand, urban transport imaginaries express questions and uncertainties about the particular ontology and phenomenology of financial derivatives, digital trading and its global flows. On the other hand, however, these “transport myths” reduce the underlying assets and destructive effects of financial speculation to the simplistic trope of sacrificial human bodies.


Urban transport imaginaries Digital trading Financial derivatives Financial flows Capital movement Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps A Week in December Cosmopolis 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miriam Meissner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyLancaster UniversityLancasterUnited Kingdom

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