Going For Broke

Why Financialisation is the wrong fix for infrastructure


Building new infrastructure is no longer simply the talk of towns and communities in which various projects are to be implemented. instead, it has taken on a new, awe-inspiring, global character. in europe alone, the european commission estimates that investment of up to €2 trillion is needed in transport, energy and it infrastructure by 2020. out of the ashes  of  the  economic  crisis,  infrastructure  is  being  promoted  as  a magic bullet. yet is this new burst of global investment hopes being based on new, more sustainable, less risky investment and financial foundations? this report discusses how and why the answer to this question is ‘no’, and seeks ultimately to outline some of the tentatively emerging alternative options.

Underpinning  the  report  is  a  focus  on  the  phenomenon  known  as ‘financialization’: how it has developed over the last four decades, and how it is increasingly shaping and affecting ‘new build’ infrastructure. crucially,  public  money  is  shown  to  be  heavily  implicated  in  the financialised  front  line  of  new  infrastructure  development.  Public money is being lined up to fund and bail out major investments with the potential  to  create  serious  environmental  and  social  impacts.  there are major questions pertaining as to forms of ‘development’ on offer, and to the fundamental issue of who and what is being developed via the public purse.

Read the full report here.

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