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Financialization, New Investment Funds, and LabourAn International Comparison$
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Howard Gospel, Andrew Pendleton, and Sigurt Vitols

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199653584

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653584.001.0001

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Ambivalent Finance and Protected Labour

Ambivalent Finance and Protected Labour

Alternative Investments and Labour Management in Australia

Chapter:
(p.115) 4 Ambivalent Finance and Protected Labour
Source:
Financialization, New Investment Funds, and Labour
Author(s):

Mark Westcott

John Murray

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199653584.003.0004

This chapter highlights two contradictory trends. Successive federal governments have attempted to create a favourable regulatory environment for financial institutions, including NIFs, through a series of general (reform of the financial market regulation) and specific (tax breaks for venture capital and investment fund capital gains) regulatory initiatives. At the same time, the mix of corporate and labour law in Australia imposes significant impediments to the capacity of new owners to restructure their obligations to the workforce inherited by their purchase. The regulatory web of labour law, with its provisions for transfer of business and current rights for unions to be bargaining agents, means that investors taking over Australian corporate assets have little room to reduce their labour costs in the short term. Notwithstanding these restrictions, PE in particular has become more active in the acquisition of mature businesses, though HFs investing in Australian assets seems to be relatively inactive.

Keywords:   Australia, financialization, new investment funds, labour, employment relations, industrial relations, work, private equity, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds

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