Leila Davis: Are Corporations’ Financial Investments Slowing Growth?

Are corporations’ financial investments crowding out other corporate spending? Leila Davis looks at the financialization of non-financial corporations—i.e., firms that traditionally produce goods and services and invest in machinery, buildings and technology rather than trade in financial assets—and asks what it means that they’re taking on large financial investments. We know that the same time firms are acquiring more financial assets, they’re not accruing physical capital at the same pace as previously. The larger firms among them have also seen a massive expansion in debt and stock repurchases. Is this financialization slowing down corporations’ investments in physical assets—and overall growth?


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