The necessity of share capital: notes on the financialisation of firms

Bruno Höfig About the author

Abstract

This paper examines the historical process of autonomization of share capital in relation to the circuit of capital effectively employed in the production and circulation of commodities. To this end, it presents the Marxian approach to the relationship between agency and structure in a capitalist economy, and reconstructs his analysis of the forms of interest bearing capital and share capital. The paper shows that share capital emerges from the contradiction between the private character of the capitalist wealth and the internal impulse towards the socialization of economic activity. Based on this, it explores the hypothesis that, far from being a contingent outcome of the apparently autonomous decisions made by the individuals that participate in this process, such relative autonomization is actually a necessary outcome of the historical development of the capitalist mode of production.

Keywords:
Financialization; Share capital; Fictitious capital; Interest-bearing capital; Deregulation

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