Research Seminar: Dr. Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos (Open University Business School)
Title: Portfolio diversification before modern financial theory: towards a new political economy of financial innovation
Speaker: Dr. Dimitris P. Sotiropoulos (Open University Business School)
This presentation will revisit particular episodes in the history of financial innovation focusing on portfolio diversification strategies. There is textual evidence from a series of financial advice documents in the late 19th century and the early 20th century that, long before the rise of modern financial theory, there was an increased awareness among UK investors of the benefits of financial diversification. The fact that diversification principles were discussed and debated in a series of financial documents, articles, reviews and pamphlets, under different forms of systematization, depth and analytical clarity, is the anticipated coupling of a widely established investment practice (diversification) in the different financial centres of the time. In other words, financial innovation has always been innate in the workings of capital. This runs contrary to the established perspective in the political economy discussions and debates, according to which financial innovation is usually linked to increasing speculation and/or predatory activities to the benefit of more sophisticated financial players. Based on the above examples from the history of financial innovation, this presentation will put forward an alternative political economy of financial innovation drawing upon the approaches of Marx, Althusser and Foucault.
Registration is not required!