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Financial capital and its relation with the State in Marx and Hilferding

Pierre Matari, Instituto de Investighaciones Sociales UNAM

While certain posthumous manuscripts of Marx developed an analysis of financial capital, it was Hilferding who offers a general theory of finance and of it role in the dynamics of the whole capitalist system. It is around Hilferding theory that the debate on finance raised, and that the relation between finance, the production and the State has been structured in the Marxist tradition. In this paper, I compare the definitions of financial capital of Marx and Hilferding. By highlighting the common points and the differences between the two authors, I demonstrate that while Marx’s ambition was to propose a general theory of financial capital, Hilferding actually proposes a theory of "financialization" of capitalism. Hence the implications for understanding some differences in their respective analysis of the relations between finance and the State, starting as an example the central bank.


Keywords: financial capital, banking capital, financialization, State, Central Bank.

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