Winner of the Imagination Lab Foundation Award for Innovative Scholarship
This article draws on psychoanalytic ideas and their application to social and organizational dynamics, to develop a conceptual framework around the notion of a manic culture and apply it to our understanding of the 2008 credit crisis. It recognises that there was a pperiod lasting two decades preceding the crisis of mania. This manic culture played a significant role in creating the conditions for the problems that led to the credit crisis. The study highlights that warning signs can be observed, but that they served not as warnings but as provocations to act manically in taking on more extreme risks. The paper explores history hhoping to better our understanding of our limited awareness and control to go some way to diminish the power of these forces in the future. It makes contributions both to theory and to the understanding of the credit crisis.