Financialization French-style (1979-2009)
Changes in large firms and conversion of elites
In recent decades, the share of the value produced by the largest listed companies has seen a dramatic change in favour of shareholders. However, to talk of financialization to describe this phenomenon runs the risk of imagining that finance was absent in the past and is now hegemonic. By systematically comparing data on these companies and their senior executives in 1979 and 2009, we show that the careers of senior executives have remained remarkably stable, and polarized by the division between financiers and others, even though the forms and business activities of financial companies have radically changed. Yet the changes in the share of value are not so much the result of these reconstructions of the perimeters or of the shareholders of companies as the effect of a conversion by their senior executives, through their experience of finance, to the norms of shareholder value.
LARGE FIRMS – ECONOMIC ELITES – CAREERS – FINANCIALIZATION – FINANCE – SHAREHOLDER VALUE