Projecting Financial Power: States Leverage Emerging SWFs to Achieve Economic Goals

August 25, 2017 by Loch Adamson

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Since 2012, governments in 22 countries have either launched or proposed new sovereign wealth funds, and — while the assets of these funds do not yet rival the sums commanded by their older peers — their swelling ranks tell a story of rising national confidence, growing wealth, and increasing engagement in global financial markets. Over the past two decades, sovereign wealth funds have become fixtures of the global financial ecosystem. Sparked by an unusual confluence of macroeconomic factors — population growth, income expansion and industrialization — and fueled by a rare "supercycle" in commodity prices, sovereign wealth funds have proliferated across resource-rich emerging markets since 1999, when petrodollar revenues began to rise. When the supercycle began 18 years ago, only 16 such funds were in operation; since then, the number of sovereign wealth funds has nearly tripled. Not even the oil-price crash of June 2014 derailed their formation,…

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