Grasping the Financial Crisis

A TSCI event with Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch

Wednesday, November 26, 2008, 7-9 pm
John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design
Room 066 (basement)
University of Toronto
230 College Street

Listen to mp3 audio of event

“This sucker could go down”: the outcome feared by George W. Bush has, for the moment, been averted. But global capitalism is, like the planet itself, in panic: stock markets continue to plunge and soar; entire countries verge on insolvency; fiercely pro-market governments nationalize their banking systems. Our political-economic system is experiencing a profound upheaval. The future of the financial crisis, and the response to it, is sure to shape the economic context of our lives for years to come.

What are the roots of the ongoing financial crisis? What might its impact be on an already dreadfully unequal world economy? What effects might it have on our cities and communities? What does it say about the place of personal finance in everyday life? What are the political possibilities and risks it carries for progressive social movements? If casino capitalism makes our lives precarious, what elements would a stable alternative to it include?

These are some of the questions we will explore with Sam Gindin and Leo Panitch, who will present an explanation of the current financial crisis. Eric Cazdyn and Kanishka Goonewardena will offer responses, and then there will be a collective discussion in which the audience will be invited to participate.

Sam Gindin is Professor in the Department of Political Science at York University, and has served as research director of the Canadian region of the United Auto Workers and chief economist and Assistant to the President of the Canadian Auto Workers.

Leo Panitch is Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Political Science at York University and an editor of the Socialist Register.

Eric Cazdyn is professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. He has recently edited a volume of South Atlantic Quarterly on the philosophical and political problem of disaster.

Kanishka Goonewardena is professor in Geography and Planning at the University of Toronto. He recently co-edited Space, Difference, Everyday Life: Reading Henri Lefebvre.

Toronto School of Creativity & Inquiry (TSCI) designs education events inquiring into the new enclosures: enclosures on time, space, creativity, thought, ecology, love… We seek to understand how these enclosures work. But combating against cynicism, we also inquire into creative pathways within, against, and beyond the enclosures: pathways of thinking, collaboration, organization, experimentation…

TSCI would like to thank the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.