Trusts and Financialization

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

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 10 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 15 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 20 capital is implicated in the financialized economy alongside corporate wealth.
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 10 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 15 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 20 capital is implicated in the financialized economy alongside corporate wealth.
LanguageEnglish
JournalSocio-Economic Review
Volume15
Issue number1
Pages31-63
Number of pages34
ISSN1475-1461
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Financialization
  • Wealth
  • Elites
  • Financial services

Cite this

Harrington, Brooke. / Trusts and Financialization. In: Socio-Economic Review. 2017 ; Vol. 15, No. 1. pp. 31-63
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Trusts and Financialization. / Harrington, Brooke.

In: Socio-Economic Review, Vol. 15, No. 1, 01.2017, p. 31-63.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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