Tag Archives for Adam Leaver

If this is capitalism, where are the price signals?: The glacial effects of passive investment

In the 10 years since the 2008 crash, the ‘passive-aggressive’ tendencies of large index funds have reshaped how modern capitalism operates The capacity for disruptive innovation within finance is part of its continued appeal for political economists post-crisis, whether it is the speed of algorithmic-trading, the growth of fintech or the darker recesses of the shadow banking sector. But the … Continue reading

3 September 2018 by
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Intangible concerns: Goodwill and the risk of pro-cyclicality in corporate America

Much has been written about the growth of debt since the Great Financial Crisis. But whilst leverage is a worry, much less has been written about the problem of asset quality As someone writing about derivatives as the last crisis hit in 2007 (or 2008 depending on your markers), I always try to keep track of those markets which have … Continue reading

20 June 2018 by
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Outsourcing firms and the paradox of time travel

Analysis of Carillion’s accounts reveals the complex interplay between the firm’s present and future, and sheds new light on which other large outsourcing firms are ‘levered on the future’ In the 1985 film ‘Back To The Future’, the hero Marty McFly travels back in time, accidentally becomes embroiled in his parents’ lives and almost causes them to split, threatening the … Continue reading

12 February 2018 by
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Out of time: The fragile temporality of Carillion’s accumulation model

Carillion is the epitome of the modern financialized firm and its liquidation tells us much about risk in this phase of financialization Look anywhere on Carillion’s website and we see metaphors for its supposed tangibility and strength, from the way it advertises its Tarmac Group heritage to its list of construction achievements which in fact precede its inception. The website … Continue reading

17 January 2018 by
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Disgorging the social settlement: What the Paradise Papers tell us about firms

The Paradise Papers reveal how debt and other financial mechanisms are used to move funds offshore and avoid tax. New constraints on firms and managers are needed Back in the 1980s, concern about lagging competitiveness in publicly listed firms led to the popularity of agency theory explanations for underperformance. Authors like Michael Jensen told a very simple, yet seductive story … Continue reading

10 November 2017 by
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SPERI 2018 Conference: 2nd Call for Proposals

Political Economy Ten Years After the Crisis Halifax Hall, University of Sheffield 2-4 July 2018 The SPERI Conference is becoming increasingly recognised as a key forum for debating major contemporary issues in political economy in new and challenging ways. It takes place in Halifax Hall in a leafy part of Sheffield and always attracts a range of leading scholars, doctoral … Continue reading

26 October 2017 by
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Organising metaphors and austerity: what the left can learn

Progressives need to think differently about political narrative to shape the political agenda to their advantage Arguably one of the most memorable moments of last year in the UK featured a tearful, Conservative-voting mother on BBC1’s weekly debating programme Question Time explaining how cuts in tax credits would affect her ability to provide the basic requirements of food and shelter … Continue reading

9 February 2016 by
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‘The Resurrected Right and Disoriented Left’ – new SPERI paper by Craig Berry

More than seven years on from the financial crisis, a new sustainable British growth model has yet to emerge, whilst the Conservative Party have been successful in rebuilding the pre-crisis growth model which failed so spectacularly in 2008. In his significant new SPERI paper – The Resurrected Right and Disoriented Left – Craig Berry, the Deputy Director of SPERI, explores … Continue reading

2 February 2016 by
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