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Subordinated Financial Integration and Financialisation in Emerging Capitalist Economies: The Brazilian Experience

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This paper analyses the recent changes in financial practices and relations in emerging capitalist economies (ECEs) using the example of Brazil. It argues that in ECEs these financial transformations, akin to the financialisation phenomena observed in Core Capitalist Economies (CCEs), are fundamentally shaped by their subordinated integration into a financialised and structured world economy. To analyse this subordinated financialisation, the paper draws on the framework of international currency hierarchies. It shows by means of two specific processes how the existence of a hierarchic international monetary system has changed the financial behaviour of domestic economic agents, and with it the structure of the financial system. The first process highlights the phenomenon of reserve accumulation and the changing behaviour of domestic banks. The second points to ECEs’ sustained external vulnerability and its impact on the operations of Brazilian non-financial corporations. The paper also shows that not only were these financial transformations shaped by ECEs’ subordinated financial integration, but also that it was these financialisation tendencies themselves which contributed to cementing existing hierarchies and further deepened existing asymmetries between ECEs and CCEs.
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Keywords: Brazil; Financialisation; emerging capitalist economies; external vulnerability; financial integration; reserve accumulation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK 2: Open Market Operations Department (DEMAB), Brazilian Central Bank, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Publication date: May 4, 2018

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