** Please note: Those planning to attend events in this series should read the paper that will be posted on the CES website before the seminar.**
This paper identifies key trends in 21st century capitalism – financialization and fissurization– and shows how they have reshuffled power relations among firms, investors, labor, and consumers. It argues that these trends have promoted the emergence of a new alliance between firms and powerful investors behind a wholly new model of patient capital that is aimed not, as before, at steady growth and shared prosperity but instead at winner-take-all market strategies. The resulting new concentrations of corporate power are consolidated and rationalized under the banner of serving consumer interests. In this way, consumers are enlisted – either explicitly or, more often, implicitly – in a political alliance against labor.