Political Economy of Financial Risk: The Case of Asset Management Companies in Turkey

Alkan, Özgürcan
The enormous development of global financial markets over the last decades led to a social landscape in which financial risks have expanded and varied on a spatial-temporal scale. The financialization process, which was exported to developing countries from developed countries under the guidance of neoliberalizm has brought over a struggling area that concerns managing financial risks. Asset management companies (AMCs), in this sense, are drawing attention as an institutional tangibility of neoliberal financial risk management. These companies that buy non-performing loans from banks with high discount rates, restructure them, and strive to collect in a given time are reduced to a technical risk liquidation instrument in mainstream studies. It is portrayed that growing risks in banks' balance sheets are liquidated before they turn into a systemic crisis; in this way, this reconsolidates the financial markets by stimulating credit mechanisms. This new measurable, commodifiable, and exchangeable manifestation of financial risk isolates the finance-dominated accumulation regime from its exploitative class-based content. Thus, it intensifies a depoliticized comprehension of risk. In this context, this study argues that AMCs that focus on distressed debt exchange are a part of the process of socialization of risks in the sense of displacing the crisis conditions into the future rather than a technical apparatus. This socialization process does not necessitate a state with a limited capacity but a state equipping new apparatus by adapting itself to different market logics such as finance. The emergence and development of AMCs in Turkey epitomizes such a case.
Citation Formats
Ö. Alkan, “Political Economy of Financial Risk: The Case of Asset Management Companies in Turkey,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2024.