Walmart, Finance, and the Cultural Politics of Securitization (2013)


Haiven, Max. 2013. “Walmart, Finance, and the Cultural Politics of Securitization.” Cultural Politics 9 (2): 239-262.


Walmart is not only the world’s single largest retailer and private employer, it is also a crystallization and an agent of a broader paradigm shift toward “securitization”: the convergence of financial and security-oriented logics of risk management. This paper examines the way Walmart mobilizes and manipulates risk to cultivate profit and power and to transform the social and cultural politics within its orbit. Walmart emblematizes and advances capitalist securitization and offers a “risk-free” consumer space as a refuge in an uncertain world, yet it ultimately contributes to a world of systemic insecurity and economic anxiety.