Date: 12 May 2021
In this first episode of our podcast, we talk to Brett Christophers, Professor of Social and Economic Geography at Uppsala University, on his latest book Rentier Capitalism. The book is a sweeping critique of early twenty-first-century capitalism in which ownership of key types of scarce assets – such as land, intellectual property, natural resources, or digital platforms – is dominated by a few unfathomably wealthy companies and individuals: rentiers. We talk about what such an economy entails and how an explosion of rent-seeking businesses has led to growing wealth and income inequality, declining productivity and innovation, and falling rates of investment. And we look for answers on what can be done to overcome it, and the ways in which cities could play a role in this.