Asset Manager Capitalism

Mark Blyth
Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, 2022
Level: advanced
Perspectives: Institutionalist Economics, Other, Post-Keynesian Economics
Topic: finance, financialization, inequality, markets
Format: Lecture
Duration: 00:22:45
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHlEkaXfgMw

Asset Management firms control large parts of the global economy. Just the three American asset management firms - BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street - manage more than half of the combined value of all shares for companies in the S&P 500. Their combined managed assets amount to $22 trillion (May 2022).

In this short talk, Prof Mark Blyth (Brown) gives an introduction to the novel form of capitalism called Asset Manager Capitalism. This concept was coined by Benjamin Braun and you can read more about his research here. He describes asset managers as "firms that pool and manage other people’s money”.

Mark Blyth brings this together and describes the effects on Inequality, power structures and the pending social-ecological transformation. His video lecture was also featured in Adam Tooze's newsletter, which includes some more interesting readings and explanantions, you can find this here. More introduction to the rise of Asset Manager Capitalism by Adrienne Buller here and Eric Levitz here.


Comment from our editors:

Understanding the structure and regime of Asset Manager Capitalism is hugely important to get a grip on inequality and power relations in modern capitalism. With the immense power asset managers hold, they are able do gain more and more yield by financialising all sorts of fields. The talk by Mark Blyth gives a great and not too long intro in what this means for inequality and power relations.


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