The Financialization of the City

This is a short post that gives a kind of overview of the critical theory around the financialization of the city

Ireland after NAMA

MabosPeople interested in urban studies will have no doubt come across the term ‘the financialization of the city’, or similar terms such as ‘the financialization of real estate’ or the ‘financialization of urban space’. This post gives a sense of what this means, but also theorizes how financialization relates to urban space with regard to the ‘accumulation’ of wealth.

At its most basic, financialization describes the growing power of finance capital over economic, social and political processes. From an urban point of view financialization can also be understood as a form of accumulation characterized by the capturing of value and wealth through the provision of credit, insurance and forms of financial intermediation.

Debt extracts huge volumes of wealth from across the economy and society, leading Costas Lavapistas to conceptualize it as a parasitic form of ‘profiting without producing’. Much of the expansion of finance in this regard has occurred in…

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