Annina Kaltenbrunner and Elif Karacimen
This chapter sets out the contradictory and variegated nature of financialization in emerging capitalist economies (ECEs), by placing particular emphasis on the changing financing and investment behaviour of non-financial corporations (NFCs). Based on a symbiotic understanding of the relationship between the ‘real’ and the financial, it argues that financialization processes in these countries have to be seen as dynamic ones, which are shaped by and interact with the specific capital accumulation process and institutional features of each country. It maintains that financialization in ECEs is closely related to and intensified with their integration into the world economy. However, the implications of this integration manifested themselves in contradictory ways. On the one hand, the increased articulation with domestic and international financial markets has created new opportunities for capitalists which have allowed them to expand their business and supported capital accumulation. On the other hand, these processes have brought new risks and historically novel financial needs, which have distracted from real investment and led to the restructuring of production. This includes the considerable contagion from the international financial crisis of 2008. Although emanating from core capitalist economies, this crisis had severe repercussion on ECEs, depending on their degree of international integration and financialisation. To contextualize these points, the chapter discusses the changing asset and liability structures of NFCs, as agents constituting the main link between financial system changes and capital accumulation and reflecting structural changes in capitalism.