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Here is a Jacobin interview with leftist economist J.W. Mason about "finance's role in capitalist society" that is fascinating throughout. Mason endorses a "functional view of finance, as the enforcement arm of the capitalist class as a whole": There are people and institutions whose job it is to ensure that corporations remain within capitalist logic, that they remain oriented towards production for sale and for profit. On some level, this is the fundamental role of shareholders and their advocates, and of institutions like private equity.I think that a lot of quite mainstream financial people would agree that one thing that shareholders do is ensure that the corporations they own "remain within capitalist logic," sure. But Mason also points to the rise of index funds as undercutting capitalist logic: If all the companies are owned by the same handful of big diversified investing institutions, and if those institutions have no interest in competition between the companies they own,...

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