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Coles, P. (2013). Minding the Markets: An Emotional Finance View of Financial Instability by David Tuckett. Published by Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2011; 232 pp; £26.00 hardback.. Brit. J. Psychother., 29(1):116-119.

(2013). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 29(1):116-119

Book Reviews

Minding the Markets: An Emotional Finance View of Financial Instability by David Tuckett. Published by Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2011; 232 pp; £26.00 hardback.

Review by:
Prophecy Coles

In the Preface of David Tuckett's book, Minding the Markets, he asks the question, can the financial crisis of 2008 be attributed to ‘greed, corruption, trade imbalances, regulatory laxity and panic’? He believes that none of those descriptions can offer a satisfactory explanation because what has been left out is any understanding of the role that emotions play in all human behaviour. With that thought in mind he sets out to explore the way in which a psychoanalytic understanding might bring about change in the way the money markets could regulate themselves. Tuckett draws upon interviews that he conducted during 2007 with asset managers around the globe. He brings this evidence to bear upon his thesis that unregulated financial trading brings in its wake emotional states of mind in the asset managers that are not conducive to prudential financial behaviour.

Tuckett introduces three psychological concepts, taken from Klein and Bion, the ‘phantastic object’, ‘groupfeel’ and the ‘divided state’. The ‘phantastic object’ is a mental representation of a much desired object, initially the mother and the mother's body. The ‘divided state’ derives from the Kleinian model of the earliest mental state of the infant in which there is a representation of the good mother who feeds it and the bad mother who frustrates it, or the paranoid-schizoid position. ‘Groupfeel’ is taken from Bion's theory about work groups and basic assumption groups in which the individual fears being questioned or criticized by the group.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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