SOAS University of London

Department of Economics

Renationalising finance after economic crisis: Public banking and private opposition in Brazil and South Africa

Natalya Naqvi (LSE)

Date: 9 October 2019Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 9 October 2019Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: ALT

Type of Event: Seminar

While public development banks were often the cornerstone of the postwar state-led development model, they have since been corporatized or privatized in many developing countries, and by the early 2000s considered a relic of the past. After the 2008 crisis these institutions are once again seen not only as a vital industrial policy tool, including for climate mitigation, but also as an important instrument to reign in the private financial sector by reducing its economic importance. However, these developmentalist policies can elicit disinvestment threats from private finance if they reduce profitability through competition, or if the fiscal resources they require cause rating downgrades and capital flight. Following over three decades of economic globalisation, which is widely considered to have strengthened private finance by increasing its exit options, it is unclear to what extent previously liberalised developing countries can overcome domestic and external constraints to increase public control of credit allocation. This paper examines the reasons for variation in post-crisis development banking policy in Brazil and South Africa.  While demands to scale up public banking from labour unions and the manufacturing sector were met with great success in Brazil, until 2014, when public banks were scaled back once more, similar demands and reform attempts were continually stalled in South Africa during the 2008-18 period.

Speaker Biography

Natalya Naqvi is an assistant professor in International Political Economy at the LSE. Her research interests are in the areas of international and comparative political economy, with a focus on the role of the state and the financial sector in economic development, as well as the amount of policy space developing countries have to conduct selective industrial policy.

Organiser: Dr Antonio Andreoni

Contact email:

Contact Tel: +44(0) 207 898 4107