The price of speculation : fintech risk regimes in Hong Kong

Hoyng, Rolien (2024) The price of speculation : fintech risk regimes in Hong Kong. Cultural Studies, 38 (2). ISSN 0950-2386

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In what ways do fintech (financial technology) innovations mediate and articulate heterogenous facets of uncertainty in the context of finance capitalism? Arguing that uncertainty is a resource both produced and exploited, this article analyses how fintech trading applications configure market uncertainty as figures and scenarios of risk and opportunity. Moreover, foregrounding the experiences of novice retail traders, I analyse the weighing of financial risk against extra-financial forms of uncertainty, namely historical contingency, lived precarity, and infrastructural opacity. To map articulations between the various facets of uncertainty involved (i.e. risk, contingency, precarity, and opacity), I propose the concept of risk regimes: sociotechnical constellations or assemblages that interweave technologies of financial calculation and prediction; discourses of probability, possibility, risk, reward, et cetera; technologies of the self; and infrastructures of datafication key to fintech. This study is set in Hong Kong, a context that testifies to the instability of such assemblages. Whereas finance capitalism exploits uncertainty in multiple ways, contingency can also render the future of finance capitalism itself uncertain. Conceptually, I draw on recent media theories, theories of uncertainty and prediction as well as theories of value. Methodologically, I combine app analysis, in-depth user interviews, and digital-methods experimentation.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Cultural Studies
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Research Output Funding/yes_externally_funded
?? fintechuncertaintyfinance capitalismriskretail trading appshong kongyes - externally fundedarts and humanities (miscellaneous)general social sciencescultural studiesanthropologysocial sciences(all) ??
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Deposited On:
16 Mar 2023 09:55
Last Modified:
16 Jul 2024 12:01