What is Robin Hood Asset Management Cooperative?
After the economic collapse there seems to be nothing that holds Europe together anymore -- except our opportunism, cynicism and indifference, which seems to have become the means of our survival. Or like the president of Finland (Sauli Niinistö) defined an old concept anew during his election campaign in the beginning of this year:
“Solidarity means that everybody takes care of his own business and does not let himself to be supported by others or leave problems of his existence to others.”
Robin Hood is a figure of this new solidarity. We are no rise of outcasts; there are no promises here for a better world in the future, to be ruled by the “good”. Robin Hood emerges from our depressing now, the lack of hope, and from the fact that we have only the precarious present to share. How can something new emerge when the possibilties at our disposal are exhausted? Robin Hood is a real experiment in this.
Robin Hood is a counter investment cooperative of the precariat. Our business is minor asset management.
The cooperative was established in 2012 based on a detailed analysis and understanding of the imitative nature of the financial market, to challenge the big banks and their elite asset management business.
Financialisation of economy is a fact. This is the second breeding ground of Robin Hood. It is not the cause of our problems, but the consequence of the change in the nature of value production and of the need of capital to detach itself from the risks and miserable prospects related to industrial economy. Yet the number of banks in the world has been reduced in the last 30 years by 40% (from about 12000 to 7000).
Only 10 big investment banks control over 90% of the entire derivative market...
...whose size is estimated to be around 1200-1400 trillion dollars (20-23x the entire world's GNP). During the first three months of 2012 alone, the profit of Goldman Sachs was over 2,1 billion dollars; HSBC 6,8 billion dollars (of which investment banking was 3,1 billion dollars of it); JP Morgan 5,4 billion dollars. Their own employees and leaders have confessed to the manipulation and exploitation of clients for pure profit.
The power to create money is in the hands of the financial market, but we have no access to it.
Our money is obliged to take part in the market, but we never profit from it. We simply carry the risks.
Could we bend the financialization of capital to the advantage of precarious workers? Could we think of how to transform private profits into shared resources? Could we think of expropriating the means of creating money whichfinancial capital has in its use, and of sharing them, of putting them to work for us? Could we think of a relation to money that is not binding us with debt and capitalism as a historical form of production, but as a means of freedom, escape, and increasing our independence? Could we think of the profanation of finance, of returning its space to common use and play?
We think we can. Robin Hood is a counter-investment bank: a cooperatively owned tactical investment fund for the precarious workers which addresses the asymmetrical division between those who are able to create money by transforming it into financial capital (to earn money as income without work) and those whose only access to money is to work (possibly at any cost) – or to first take debt, and then work. Robin Hood is developed as a strategic means to challenge this debt mechanism of control and the limited options the precariat has for financing its living (debt, work and destructive competition of it, wishful thinking, marginal communities who are “outside money”, revolution and taking over government, hoping that the state will take care of you...). It is a very concrete reopening of the field of the possible.
Robin Hood Asset Management Cooperative is a Finnish cooperative (“osuuskunta”) having members from over 10 countries. Robin Hood Asset Management Cooperative is governed by the board of five members selected according to the rules of the cooperative.
The members of the board are:
Dr.Sc.(Econ) Akseli Virtanen
Prof. Liisa Välikangas
Prof. Teemu Mäki
Prof. Tere Vadén