Purpose—This paper explores and investigates the theoretical significance of financialisation from (Post-) Keynesian and Marxist perspectives.
Design/methodology/approach—The paper presents a critique of the (Post-) Keynesian approach, explores financialisation within a Marxist political economy framework, and then offers some implications for future research.
Findings—Limitations of the (Post-) Keynesian approach are identified: financialisation is viewed within the confines of the owner-manager paradigm and of the financial and non-financial sector dichotomy, without any consideration to its wider social ramifications (especially those on the working class). A Marx’s structural analysis is then put forward. It demystifies the self-expanding magic of finance, deconstructs the sectorial difference between financial markets and the rest of the economy, and thus demonstrates the dialectics between productive, commercial, and financial activities within the capitalist class. The working class, on the other hand, has also been taken into consideration in examining its direct interaction with financial capitalists, which further explains and supports the class relationship under the contemporary financialised capitalist economy. The solution to the potential threat posed by the unfettered expansion of finance is proposed while evaluating other remedies from extant studies.
Future Implications—Implications for developing financialisation through the Marxist framework presented are made, with specific reference to accounting literature. The paper calls for a structural analysis of financialisation, with greater engagement of accounting, and accounting discourse in particular, in different classes of capitalist societies.
Research limitations—The theoretical perspectives on financialisation examined in the paper is limited to the two approaches.
Originality/value—The paper reviews extant literature of financialisation, provides a critique on the (Post-) Keynesian perspectives, and offers the Marxist theoretical framework for developing a new body of research towards financialisation. A Marxist definition of financialisation is given.