International financial subordination in the age of asset manager capitalism

Bruno Bonizzi, Annina Kaltenbrunner

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Abstract

The rise of asset managers as key nodes of financial intermediation has been one of the most fundamental changes in the global economy over recent years. An emerging literature on asset manager capitalism (AMC) discusses these changes and its implications, though largely in the context of corporate governance in advanced capitalist economies. This paper expands the remit of the AMC literature to spaces outside the global capitalist core, and assesses its implications, based on quantitative data on asset manager allocations and flows, and qualitative data from semi-structured interviews. We find that despite the growth of asset managers’ investments into emerging markets, their presence remains limited and that the threat of exit remains present but increasingly tied with global conditions and the composition of benchmark indices. We also find that asset managers’ investments are increasingly focussing on bonds, and are heavily concentrated in a few companies and sectors, revealing a marginal rather than broad-based presence. Finally, we find very limited evidence that asset managers use their voice to influence corporate governance and macroeconomic policy. Overall, asset managers do not seem to fundamentally reshape the characteristics of financial subordination of emerging markets, and the characteristics of AMCs remain, for now, specific to advanced economies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironment and Planning A (EPA)
Early online date22 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Feb 2024

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