Since 2000 northeastern Madagascar's subsistence-based communities have registered record profits thanks to a boom in vanilla and rosewood exports. Yet, rather than saving or investing these returns, much of the local earnings were spent in “hot money” sprees on cold beer, gambling, and other forms of immediate consumption. Far from being illogical or unproductive, hot-money spending and other practices associated with export economies help local communities navigate the volatility of global markets and domesticate foreign demands. Although these tactics come from the margins of global capitalism, they represent an acute cultural expression of some of the most sophisticated dynamics found at its core. [export economies, money, tactics, globalization, consumption, vanilla, rosewood, Madagascar].