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Back-office intricacy: the description of financial objects in an investment bank

By Fabian Muniesa, Dominique Chabert, Marceline Ducrocq-Grondin and Susan V. Scott


The complexity of contemporary finance translates into what we call the problem of “description”: the problem of constructing robust, flexible, portable, and mutually compatible depictions of complex, multisided, and often ambiguous financial objects (products, trades, marketplaces). This problem is characteristically exacerbated in back-office operations within the financial services industry. We provide a case study in the form of a qualitative examination of back- and middle-office operations in an international investment bank. We analyze the manifold manifestations of the problem of description within this bank

Topics: HC Economic History and Conditions, HG Finance
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1093/icc
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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