Journal Article 7

Dal Maso, G. (2022) Past and present financialization in Central Eastern Europe: the case of Western subsidiary banks. Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies24:1, 60-77. DOI: 10.1080/19448953.2021.1992185


By examining the ‘post’ financial crisis scenario in Central Eastern Europe (CEE) the paper assesses the role of Western banks in the region and how their penetration and ‘resilience’ is influenced by their parent and subsidiary structure. While taking stock of the variegated post-socialist transformation in CEE, it employs a genealogical method to explore how the universal bank model and its current ‘bifurcation’ into parent and subsidiary bank provides a lens through which to investigate a new form of dependency within the uneven geography of Europe. In the light of Rudolf Hilferding’s theory of the universal bank and the theorization of financial capital, it illustrates how the present form of bank capitalization overlaps with previous forms of imperial expansion. If on one hand subsidiaries sit at the intersection between the core (home country) and the periphery (host country)— reproducing some of the old spatial hierarchy of capitalism; on the other they also enable new patterns of value extraction that go beyond these relations of dependency. Their autonomy in raising capital and in responding to local host jurisdiction in their “second home market” opens a new financial dimension of extractions that escape the oversight of national and regional regulatory regimes.

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