University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Land Economy Seminars Lent 2019 > Public Debt as a valuable asset for globalised finance

Public Debt as a valuable asset for globalised finance

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If we are to end global imbalances and high levels of inequality, it will be essential to hold financial and corporate elites to account, and thereby to transform the economy.  As citizens, we must understand that this is possible; that we have agency. As taxpayers we effectively subsidise, embolden and enrich Wall St and the City of London. We are powerful enough to protect the rentiers of finance from the discipline of market forces. Back in 2007-9 we had the immense power and almost infinite financial capacity to bail out the globalised banking system. It was a great power deployed in our name, but without our authority. Or even our knowledge.  To effectively mobilise citizen power, we must understand that public financial assets created and backed by our taxes – government debt - promises to pay or bonds -  generate valuable rents for the finance sector.  They are income-generating assets fundamental to both the functioning and health of the private financial system, but also to the accumulation of wealth by financiers. They are assets that effortlessly yield income and leverage additional finance for big corporations and the 1%

This talk is part of the Land Economy Seminars Lent 2019 series.

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