The "end of geography" in financial services? Local embeddedness and territorialization in the interest rate swaps industry

Pierre Agnes

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    71 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This paper provides evidence that the globalization of financial services has not undermined the importance of local embeddedness in world financial centers, among global banks. Using qualitative data from interviews with senior bankers in the interest rate swaps (derivatives) industry in Australia, in this paper I demonstrate the importance of spatial relationships and processes of local embeddedness in the production of swaps. Local embeddedness is attributable to the rapid exchange of financial information in formal dealing networks that serve as central information sources, enabling dealers to formulate a "market feel" that influences their dealing strategies. Information interpretation and decision making in dealing processes and specialist financial labor provide the foundations for the product-based learning orientation of swaps dealing. Dealing networks are underpinned by social relationships, requiring face-to-face interaction that is facilitated by spatial proximity. Although the global swaps industry is dominated by multinational banks, the centrality of these embedded networks impedes globalization in interest rate swaps dealing. The global swaps industry comprises an international network of highly localized but interconnected operations based in world financial centers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)347-366
    Number of pages20
    JournalEconomic Geography
    Volume76
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2000

    Keywords

    • Financial sevices
    • Globalization
    • OTC derivatives
    • Production systems
    • Territorialization

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