Summary: Introduction - Investing: a disseminated decision. Fieldwork-based research on credit derivatives - Sovereign bonds dealers. Politics of the transactions between banks and states regarding government bonds sales and distribution - Credit given to the poor. Right to debt and financialization of social action. Read More
Investing: A Disseminated Decision.
Fieldwork-Based Research on Credit Derivatives
This text is based on fieldwork research carried out among fund managers investing their clients' money in credit derivatives. The analysis shows that employees present themselves as the source of the decision to invest, by applying procedures that imply a multiple and contradictory theoretical figure of an individual investor. Yet, their decision is actually the result of the partly hierarchical interactions within their company, and it follows the rules of the network of experts where credit derivatives are produced and exchanged. Thus, the decision does not belong to an individual "investor", but it is disseminated in these social spaces.
Sovereign Bonds Dealers.
Politics of the Transactions Between Banks and State Regarding Government Bonds Sales and Distribution
This article analyzes the commercial interactions formed around the French sovereign debt between the state and commercial banks. The survey focuses on the practical operation of the French primary dealers, the private bank network charged with “making the debt market”, that is to say ensuring the distribution, sale and valuation of government bonds, and interacting with senior officials of the Agence France Trésor (AFT) at the Ministry of Finance. The government strategy of creating this network of wholesalers, to reduce the cost of transmission and to ensure the quality of French debt in the international capital markets, is one of the channels through which the interpenetration of interests between public finance and private finance travels. The mode of relationship thus required between private banks and the state is that of a “partnership” structured by transactions and exchanges of good practices whose public and political legitimacy is sometimes uncertain and which has the effect of locking a market arrangement for state funding.
Credit Given to the Poor.
Right to Debt and Financialization of Social Action
The end of 1980’s established a first step in the development of the offer of microcredit in France, mainly aimed at people with low income willing to create their own professional activity. Since the beginning of the 2000’s, a wider offer of so called “solidaire” micro-finance including personal microcredits has been established thanks to the support of the government. The later was in favour of financial institutions capturing this market, with the assistance of the social action groups acting as borrowers. These plans, endowed from now on with legal frameworks adjusted and carried by converted intermediaries, led to the production of a right to have debts which, while raising the legal question of the access of all to money, contributes to a process of financialization of social assistance. Based on a series of field studies on banking, social, and microcredit professionals, and on the analysis of the channels for requesting and granting loans, this article aims at shedding light on the processes that drive institutions and actors with apparently divergent interests to participate together in the production of a financial market, neither completely public, nor completely private – that of credit to the poor.