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Crisis Perception in Financial Media Discourse : A concrete application through the Minskian / Mainstream opposition

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Information about Crisis Perception in Financial Media Discourse : A concrete application...
Economy & Finance

Published on October 15, 2014

Author: pkconference

Source: slideshare.net

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Financial Crises and Regulation session at 12th International Conference
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1. 12th International Post Keynesian Conference, Kansas City, Sept 25-27, 2014 1 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi

2.  While Minsky conceptualizes the crisis as endogenous and inherent in the development of financial capitalism, the mainstream model (hereafter MM) posits the existence of a stable equilibrium: the crisis is always and everywhere a temporary deviation from equilibrium, merely caused by an external shock.  RQ : Does financial media discourse lean one way or the other? Are financial reports/analyses neutral in discursive terms?  Working hypothesis: the Minskian and mainstream approaches both turn underlying concepts into distinct discourses. 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi 2

3. Financial Instability Hypothesis Mainstream Approaches Background Keynes’ General theory: - No self-adjustment of markets - Non-equilibrating markets Neoclassical economics: - Invisible hand : self-regulation arguments - Existence/stability of market equilibrium Role of finance & financial systems . Central to the analysis . Triggering the instability & BC mechanisms . Added to the analysis . Optimal allocation of resources to investment Crisis perspective . Inherent in the system . Endogenously generated . Transitory phenomenon . External shock required Agential behavior . Rejection of the rationality hypothesis in spite of information asymmetries . Key role for Institutional arrangements . Rational expectations hypothesis . Imperfections (information asymmetries) perceived as biases Dynamics Dual dynamics : . Medium term : business cycle / FIH . Long-term dynamic (evolutionary): development of capitalism through historical time Static : . Equilibrium as reference . Search for natural laws / universal economic mechanisms Policy implications Intervention / regulation needed Neither intervention nor regulation required / 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi 3 detrimental role of intervention

4.  Tropes text analysis  Linguistic analysis software  Based on cognitive-discursive analysis  Language studies center stage in social psychology: “language is not the mere vehicle of communication that would convey meaning and intention in all transparency. Language is opaque, it is an object that is handled and used so as to exert an action on another person” (Richard, 2000, p.342, our translation)  Corpus selection and relevance : homogeneity and comparability  a common theme: the financial crisis  three chronological samples: pre-2007, 2007-2008, post 2008  a common article/text format: opinion articles (edito) taken from the specialized press => 3 representative press sections in the US, the UK, France (representativeness & readership criteria) (Given our focus on financial media discourse, academic papers are ruled out from the onset) => a data base of 300 articles (100 per chronological sample)  A common enunciative stance; to achieve coherence in the comparison  Exploratory results & method based on 3 editorials from the same author (M. Wolf) and the same title (Financial Times). 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi 4

5.  Semantic analysis  Text style identification  Word categorization  Conceptual apparatus (relations : predecessor / successor, acted / actant) => Linguistic analytical grid : relations (actant -> acted) and narrative, may indicate the internal workings of the conceptual scheme embedded in the text 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi 5

6. 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi 6

7. Central, acted Graph 1a Representative field 1 (Tropes software) 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi 7 actant

8. predecessor successor Graph 1b Relations connecting ‘world’ and ‘economy’ in corpus 1 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi 8

9. Graph 2a Representative field 1 (Tropes software) Remains the central representative field previously actant, has become acted, and has moved much closer to the center Corpus 2' threefold argumentation: the crisis is the most severe since the 1930s (1), economic recovery will thus require mass scale government intervention (2) and the previous "unbalanced" economic regime will not be restored (3) 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi 9

10. A slight shift in the underlying theoretical framework? Graph 2b Relations connecting ‘world’ and ‘economy’ Semantic fields : the reference "shock" has disappeared, while new items hint at a more Keynesian-oriented mindset (i.e.: "demand", "spirit") 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi 10

11. Graph 3a Representative field 1 (Tropes software) "crisis" acted => suggesting that the crisis is endogenous to the financial system. (sharp contrast with first corpus "shock") Finance again the central reference, but most fields have changed Corpus 2 argumentation : 'The consensus view of the world economy has become more optimistic, for good reason''. General argument is one of measured optimism in the light of a sustained recovery at the global level. 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi 11

12. Crisis : both predecessors and successors (field 1), which may indicate some sort of reflexive conceptual apparatus (id. For 'debt', field3 Graph 2b Relations connecting ‘growth and ‘economy’ in corpus 3 (Tropes extract) “Economy” continues to occupy a central position, but the latter is connected to ‘growth’ and ‘debt’ 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi 12

13. Graph 2c Relations connecting ‘economy’ and 'debt' in corpus 3 under Tropes 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi 13

14. Corpus 1 : pre-crisis absolute frequency relative frequency Corpus 2 : crisis absolute frequency relative frequency Corpus 3 : post-crisis absolute frequency 1 money 12 1,1% crisis 13 1,1% growth 15 1,4% 2 oil 10 0,9% deficit 9 0,8% economy 12 1,1% 3 deficit 9 0,8% demand 7 0,6% crisis 8 0,7% 4 growth 8 0,7% economy 6 0,5% income 8 0,7% 5 account 5 0,5% national_income 5 0,4% debt 6 0,5% 6 rise 4 0,4% unemployment 4 0,3% shortfall 3 0,3% 7 economy 4 0,4% output 4 0,3% reform 3 0,3% 8 shock 4 0,4% surplus 3 0,3% weakness 3 0,3% 9 national_income 4 0,4% growth 3 0,3% decline 3 0,3% 10 finance 4 0,4% rescue 3 0,3% bank 3 0,3% Table 1 Top 10 significant (conceptually relevant) references rank relative frequency 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi 14

15. Table 2 List of 'most frequent references': an attempt at semantic classification 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi 15

16.  Exploratory results suggests a slight shift in embedded linguistic frames (cf. relations analysis : towards a more reflexive apparatus regarding economy, crisis, debt) and semantic analysis (representative fields, references frequencies) in crisis perception and related mechanisms  Suggests a more Minskian understanding of the financial crisis, or at least a stronger intellectual influence of the latter in financial media discourse, whereas it was previously absent before the crisis  Important limitations of our approach, which remains exploratory and methodologically oriented  corpus is voluntarily restricted for convenience purposes  the method is limited to semantic analysis and the use of a single software program (i.e. Tropes)  Nonetheless : crisis-related discourse from a linguistic, albeit embryonic, standpoint, helps us make concrete recommendations for future research  more extensive empirical linguistics analysis  much larger database (of three hundred articles) structured around subtler time intervals and divided between the French and the Anglo-Saxon press  linguistic concepts derived from frame semantics, in order to complement the analysis conducted with Tropes 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi 16

17. “[t]hose who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” George Santayana (1905, p.284) 12th International Post Keynesian Conference UMKC, Sept 25-27, 2014 Pilkington - Sinapi 17

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