How Asset Managers Came to Own Everything and You Failed to Notice

Mark Blyth and Brett Christophers discuss:

How asset managers came to own everything and you failed to notice The Rhodes Center Podcast with Mark Blyth

Listeners of the Rhodes Center Podcast have probably heard of companies like Black Rock, State Street and Vanguard. You’ve also probably heard how, through ETFs and other investment products, these types of investment firms own a staggering share of the world’s biggest companies (20-25% of the S&P 500 by some estimates). But in this episode, you’ll hear about a whole other side of asset management; one that’s more opaque, and possibly much more influential (and corrosive) to our daily lives.  Brett Christophers is a geographer and professor at Uppsala University’s Institute for Housing and Urban Research, and author of the new book “Our Lives in Their Portfolios: Why Asset Managers Own the World.” In it, he explains how asset management companies like Blackstone and Macquarie Asset Management do more than passively own shares. Over the last few decades, they've begun to invest in and actively run a growing portion of our infrastructure and essential services: hospitals, care homes, water treatment plants, bridges and even parking meters. On this episode, he talks with Mark Blyth about the economics of this new subspecies of asset management, and how they’ve begun to reshape our society, economy and planet in ways we don’t fully understand. Learn about and purchase “Our Lives in Their Portfolios: Why Asset Managers Own the World”Learn more about other podcasts from the Watson Institute at Brown University
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