Seeing Like a State - Thinking like a Hedge Fund: Intangible Assets, Financial Derivatives and Unbundling the State and the Corporation

Dick Bryan, Nigel Douglas, Mike Rafferty, Duncan Wigan

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


    The current debate about international taxation is guided by a generalised admission that the international regulatory structure is out of date and unfit for purpose. This has led to concerted efforts to upgrade regulation and ameliorate the fiscally deleterious effects of processes unfolding through global wealth chains. This article argues that the challenges facing regulators go beyond jurisdictional competence and persistent collective action problems. Regulators are confronting changes in the form of capital itself. Developments of ownership in intellectual property and financial derivatives permit the disaggregation and unbundling of aspects of the firm and capital across space and time. In focusing on developments in derivatives finance and corporate intangible property, this article suggests that if we wish to deconstruct ‘global wealth chains’ we also need to open up the concept of capital and think about capital in more fluid and relational ways. The increasing prevalence of forms of capital that are inherently abstract and stretch across as well as compress space and time mark a structural disjuncture between on one hand the state and globalizing capital and the other value and wealth distribution.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2014
    Number of pages20
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventFLACSO-ISA Joint International Conference, Buenos Aires: Global and Regional Powers in a Changing World - University of Buenos Aires, School of Economics, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Duration: 23 Jul 201425 Jul 2014


    ConferenceFLACSO-ISA Joint International Conference, Buenos Aires
    LocationUniversity of Buenos Aires, School of Economics
    CityBuenos Aires
    Internet address

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