Value models: Finance, risk, and political economy

Brett Christophers
Finance and Society, 2015, 1(2): 1-22


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.

Research articles