Geomeoney: an option on frost, going long on clouds

Pryke, Michael (2007). Geomeoney: an option on frost, going long on clouds. Geoforum, 38(3) pp. 576–588.



The paper adopts a cultural economy approach to explore the emergence of a market in so-called weather derivatives, referred to in the paper as a form of ‘geomoney’. These are specially designed financial products that allow firms to protect their profits against the impact of changing weather conditions. The paper approaches the emergence of this market, and the issues its growth raises, in three interlinked stages. Weather derivatives are located amongst the hybrid collective that is contemporary finance and are analysed through the conceptual apparatus afforded by a cultural economy approach to finance. The paper employs this analytical line to examine the assumptions and models that enable the weather to be turned into a risk and then be transported and traded within capital markets. Through specific examples of weather products together with a discussion of the International Finance Corporation’s recent involvement in this market, the paper suggests something of the ‘world making’ capabilities of finance theory and the politics of finance often hidden beneath the mathematical models. The paper concludes by highlighting not only the usefulness of a cultural economy of finance to geographers but, in light of the examples discussed, the need for cultural economy to recognise and to engage critically in its analysis the politics that such a conceptual approach to the making of financial markets exposes.

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