Finance and the deepening of capitalism in the Asia-Pacific

Toby Carroll from the City University of Hong Kong has an first-rate paper on this topic entitled “Access to Finance and the Death of Development in the Asia-Pacific.” His abstract states:

This article details and dissects the promotion by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation of financial intermediaries – entities such as wholesale and retail micro-finance organisations and deposit-taking banks – as a key component within the push to establish and extend capitalist social relations in the underdeveloped world. It argues that the approach must be seen as emanating not out of some (re)discovery of key methods that foster the substantive and sustainable improvement of material conditions but rather the material and ideological interests attending late capitalism. Focusing on financial intermediary support in the Asia-Pacific, this article begins by outlining the new politics of development driving financial intermediary support and the broader agenda to which it belongs. The second section of the article details some “working examples” of the International Finance Corporation’s support of financial intermediaries in the Asia-Pacific, fleshing out the precise form that financial intermediary support takes. The article concludes by highlighting how the approach is further consolidating the death of development as a modern nationalist/internationalist project and deepening the distribution of late capitalism’s contradictions.

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