Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Selling debt: interrogating the moral claims of the financial elites in Central Asia

Sanghera, Balihar, Satybaldieva, Elmira (2021) Selling debt: interrogating the moral claims of the financial elites in Central Asia. Capital and Class, 45 (3). pp. 347-370. ISSN 0309-8168. E-ISSN 2041-0980. (doi:10.1177/0309816820943174) (KAR id:81021)


This article critically examines how banks and microfinance companies morally construed and evaluated their lending practices and income in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Banks occupy a powerful position in a monetary economy, because they do not merely create money ‘out of thin air’, but can charge for it, that is, interest. In doing so, they obtain unearned income and extract wealth. The article examines how banks and microfinance companies used myths, ideals, discourses, norms and emotions to justify and de-politicise their unequal power, unearned income and damaging effects. The study draws on the moral economy perspective and the post-Keynesian theory of money to understand financial institutions’ moral justifications and rationalisations of their position and power. This article contributes to a wider literature on neoliberalism and morality in post- socialist economies.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0309816820943174
Uncontrolled keywords: loans, moral economy, interest, unearned income, post-Soviet
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Funders: [37325] UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Balihar Sanghera
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2020 21:41 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 16:31 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.