Trump, US Public Debt, and the Future of Global Financial Power

Sandy Hager The following post is based loosely on my presentation at the first annual Thammasat University-Conference for Asia Pacific Studies in Phuket, Thailand (8-9 December 2016). What a difference a few months makes. This past summer I published a piece in the European Journal of International Relations on the role of US Treasury securities […]

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Hager, ‘Public Debt, Inequality, and Power: The Making of a Modern Debt State’

Abstract Who are the dominant owners of US public debt? Is it widely held, or concentrated in the hands of a few? Does ownership of public debt give these bondholders power over our government? What do we make of the fact that foreign-owned debt has ballooned to nearly 50 percent today? Until now, we have […]

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Hager, ‘Corporate Ownership of the Public Debt’

Abstract In various writings Karl Marx made references to an ‘aristocracy of finance’ in Western Europe and the United States that dominated ownership of the public debt. Drawing on original research, this article offers the first comprehensive analysis of public debt ownership within the US corporate sector. The research shows that over the past three […]

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No. 2015/01: Hager, ‘Public Debt as Corporate Power’

Abstract In various writings Karl Marx made references to an ‘aristocracy of finance’ in Western Europe and the United States that dominated ownership of the public debt. Drawing on original research, this paper offers the first comprehensive analysis of the pattern of public debt ownership within the US corporate sector. The research shows that over […]

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Hager, ‘What Happened to the Bondholding Class? Public Debt, Power and the Top One Per Cent’

Abstract In 1887 Henry Carter Adams produced a study demonstrating that the ownership of government bonds was heavily concentrated in the hands of a ‘bondholding class’ that lent to and, in Adams’s view, controlled the government like dominant shareholders control a corporation. The interests of this bondholding class clashed with the interests of the masses, […]

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