Introduction: We live in a time of finance capitalism, when trading money, risk and associated products is more profitable and outpaces trading goods and services for capital accumulation. That is in short what people often refer to as “financialisation” of the economy. This has huge implications for where capital is invested and the everyday exposure of people to capital markets, as more and more aspects of everyday life – from home ownership to pensions and schooling – are mediated through financial markets rather than just markets.
Financialisation is now penetrating all commodity markets and their functioning and expanding from areas like social reproduction (pensions, health, education, housing) into natural resources management (what can be regarded as the financialisation of nature). Just as the privatisation of public assets and services served as a building block for the financialisation of the economy, so the further commodification of the natural commons is the basis for the further financialisation of the economy and nature.
However financialisation should be regarded as more than just a further stage of commodification or privatisation of the commons.
Contribution to the 3rd International Degrowth Conference for Ecological Sustainability and Social Equity in Venice in 2012.