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Tales from AlbaradoPonzi Logics of Accumulation in Postsocialist Albania$
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Smoki Musaraj

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501750335

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501750335.001.0001

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“Money Flowed Like a River”

“Money Flowed Like a River”

Materialities of Speculation

(p.64) 2 “Money Flowed Like a River”
Tales from Albarado

Smoki Musaraj

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores the materialities of speculative finance. It starts with accounts of “stacks and sacs of cash” that circulated at the firms then reviews the changes in the forms and functions of money during the postsocialist transformations. The chapter looks at how two forms of wealth: privatization vouchers and multi-currency remittances lead to top-down and bottom-up economic and social processes and sustained the firms. By focusing on the materialities of “fajde,” the chapter considers how the pyramid firms played a role as thresholds of value conversion that enables different forms of wealth to circulate and be converted across asymmetric regimes of value. It traces how the valuation and circulation of privatization vouchers impacted the acquiring of assets by various firms' owners.

Keywords:   speculative finance, postsocialist transformation, privatization voucher, multi-currency remittance, fajde, value conversion, pyramid firms

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