‘Alternative Investment’ or Nomadic War Machine?

Ewald Engelen, Ismail Ertürk, Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, Adam Leaver, Michael Moran, Adriana Nilsson and Karel Williams

in After the Great Complacence

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199589081
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731150 | DOI:
‘Alternative Investment’ or Nomadic War Machine?

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This chapter explores the role of alternative investment funds in the recent financial crisis. It considers the different ways in which the source of private equity and hedge fund success during the boom were understood, contrasting the positions of supporters and critics. In contrast to these positions, the chapter reframes private equity and hedge funds as a mutable, integral part of the world of bricolage described in 2. It is argued that these intermediaries were bricoleurs building structures from conjunctural conditions of low interest rates and abundant liquidity in the 2000s. Yet there was something distinctive about their strategy which we understand outside the market frame through the Deleuzian analogy of ‘nomadic war machine’. The chapter concludes by arguing that it is not fixed strategies that generate reward, but rewards which drive variable tactics of value extraction which often impose costs on others.

Keywords: private equity; hedge funds; alternative investment; financial crisis; nomadic war machine; financial intermediaries

Chapter.  12870 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Financial Institutions and Services

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