1 2 1-22 2015

Value models: Finance, risk, and political economy

Brett Christophers


This article develops a basic typological framework for understanding and analyzing financial risk from a political economy perspective. It is motivated by growing awareness of the contemporary significance of financial risk and by the fact that the political-economic literature on such risk currently lacks a workable heuristic. The framework distinguishes between and fleshes out what I refer to as the principal ‘value models’ of finance: fees, gains, premia, and spreads. Its primary aim is to facilitate the identification and conceptualization of: (1) the different risk configurations characterizing the heterogeneous political economy of finance; and (2) the different ways in which key stakeholders — such as finance capital, non-financial capital, and labor — come to be enrolled in such configurations. It also aims to contribute to the wider project of demystifying not just financial risk in particular but modern finance more generally.


value; finance; risk; political economy; capitalism; finance capital

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.2218/finsoc.v1i2.1381


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