Large industrial corporations and the rise of finance in the United States /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Ki, Youn, author.
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2015
Description:1 electronic resource (166 pages)
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
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Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
Notes:Advisors: Gary Herrigel Committee members: Andrew Abbott; Elisabeth Clemens.
This item is not available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 77-02(E), Section: A.
Summary:My dissertation examines the origins of the remarkable growth of finance in the US over the past half-century. Analysts have overlooked the role of industrial firms in this transition by emphasizing either converging interests among capitalists or diverging interests between industrialists and financiers. The former approach obviates the need to delve into the subset, while the latter downplays the positive role of the industrialists in the process. In challenging these views, I argue that large US industrial firms unintentionally facilitated the rise of finance in their attempts to restore industrial profits by adopting new business strategies in the 1970s and 1980s. The success of these strategies required them to engage with minimally regulated financial markets and to support liberal economic policies, which created economic conditions conducive to financial expansion. Using original archival evidence and data on financial markets, I trace economic and political activities of US industrial firms and their impacts on the US economy during three shifts that dismantled restrictive postwar financial regimes and paved the way for the rise of finance in the US: (1) the rise of global finance, (2) the change in US monetary policy, and (3) the mergers and acquisitions movement.
This research intervenes in key debates in the social sciences. First, it addresses the (capitalist) class dynamics related to contemporary financial transformation. Some observe a consensus within the capitalist class for a systemic change to renew the channel for profit-making, while others focuses on the intra-class conflicts surrounding the preferred venue for profits. Alternatively, I find that distinctive sectoral goals, but shared means, among capitalists led to the shift. Industrialists' initiatives to rejuvenate industrial profits induced them to cooperate with financiers to promote liberal financial policies. Second, this project demonstrates how the financialization of the US economy co-evolved with the re-vitalization of the US industry in the late twentieth century, challenging prevalent views that emphasize the zero-sum dimension of the relationship between finance and industry. In particular, the chapter on the mergers and acquisitions movement shows that industrial corporations exploited takeover activities to restructure themselves. As such, this research encourages us to re-conceptualize "financialization."