chapter  28
10 Pages

Democracy and the political representation of investors

On French sovereign debt transactions and elections
ByBenjamin Lemoine

This chapter shows the importance of investigating the way in which the financialisation of sovereign debt – its sale as standardised contracts in a unified global bond savings market – transforms the capacity for action and reaction among the different social groups and either strengthens or weakens their very existence. Relying on an empirical investigation of sovereign debt management techniques, commercialisation and evaluation, the chapter describes different scenes where the 'publics' of the sovereign debt are made explicit. The chapter describes how the interest of creditors, and professional bondholders, becomes manifest, explicit and a public concern during a recent electoral campaign in France. It develops the omnipresence, in the public sphere, of the 'political risk', i.e. the way financial investors qualify political attempts to change the structures as a 'danger'. The chapter considers 'political risk' as an indirect mode of creditors' political representation.