Trusts and FinancializationSocio-Economic Review (2016)
This article identifies trusts as a legal structure associated with the global spread of financialization. Although trusts originated in Medieval England, they have acquired a new significance in contemporary finance by virtue of their advantages in terms of profit maximization and capital mobility. As a result, trusts have become common in contemporary structured finance for corporations, in addition to their traditional functions as estate planning and asset protection vehicles for high-net-worth individuals.This article specifies three ways in which the trust structure has facilitated the global spread of financialization: by privileging the rentier–investor within the world economy; by perpetuating a distinctively Anglo-American approach to finance internationally; and by increasing the autonomy of finance vis-a-vis the nation-state.This study shares the primarily descriptive and conceptual intent of Krippner’s work on financialization, but extends it in two ways: by comparing trusts to the better-known corporate form of organizing financial activity, and by showing how private capital is implicated in the financialized economy alongside corporate wealth.
Publication DateJuly, 2016
Citation InformationElisabeth Brooke Harrington. "Trusts and Financialization" Socio-Economic Review (2016) p. 1 - 33
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/brooke_harrington/44/