Cities in a World Economy (Sociology for a New Century by Saskia Sassen

By Saskia Sassen

The 3rd version of towns in an international financial system indicates how convinced features of our turn-of-the-millennium flows of cash, info, and other people have ended in the emergence of a brand new social formation: worldwide towns. those advancements supply new desiring to such furniture of city sociology because the centrality of position and the significance of geography in our social international.

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The oil crisis was important in feeding this growth. In the 1980s, it was Eurobonds and Eurosecurities-that is, bonds and securities traded "offshore," outside the standard regulatory framework. Securitization was crucial in the 1980s, to launch the new financial era by making liquid what had been illiquid forms of debt. With the launch of the euro in Janu­ ary 1 999, Euromarkets are experiencing a period of profound change and growth, with the current value of outstanding international debt in both euro and legacy currencies at US$l ,629 in 1998 (IMF 1999: Part 2) .

Ital % o[ T0r!. 25 Note: Ranked by capital as determined by Dow Jones Global Indexes; figures based on 1997 fiscal year results. Source: Based on "World Business," Wall Street Journal, September 24, 1992, R27; "World Business," Wall Street Journal, September 28, 1998, R25-27. Certain aspects of the territorial dispersal of economic activity may have led to some dispersal of profits and ownership. Large firms, for ex­ ample, have increased their subcontracting to smaller firms worldwide, and many national firms in the newly industrializing countries have grown rapidly, thanks to investment by foreign firms and access to world markets, often through arrangements with transnational firms.

Several small places are struggling to compete with established centers: Gibraltar, Monaco, Liechtenstein, Andorra, and Campione. The Caribbean has Bermuda, the Cayman Is­ lands, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and the British Virgin Islands. Why do offshore banking centers exist? This question is especially per­ tinent given the massive deregulation of major financial markets in the The Urban Impact of Economic Globalization 29 1980s and the establishment of "free in�e�nat�onal financial zones" in sev­ eral major cities in highly developed countries.

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