Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/157869
Authors: 
Hager, Sandy Brian
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
Working Papers on Capital as Power 2015/01
Abstract: 
In various writings Karl Marx made references to an ‘aristocracy of finance’ in Western Europe and the United States that dominated ownership of the public debt. Drawing on original research, this paper offers the first comprehensive analysis of the pattern of public debt ownership within the US corporate sector. The research shows that over the past three decades, and especially in the context of the current crisis, a new ‘aristocracy of finance’ has emerged, as corporate holdings of the public debt have become rapidly concentrated in favor of large corporations classified within Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE). Drawing on Wolfgang Streeck’s concept of the ‘debt state’, the paper goes on to demonstrate how concentration in ownership of the public debt reinforces patterns of social inequality and proceeds in tandem with a shift in government policy, one that prioritizes the interests of government bondholders over the general citizenry.
Subjects: 
public finance
financial institutions
distribution
redistribution
financial crisis
class
aristocracy of finance
corporate power
public debt
United States
JEL: 
H6
D3
G2
URL of the first edition: 
Creative Commons License: 
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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