Financializing household water: Thames water, MEIF, and 'ring-fenced' politics

Allen, John and Pryke, Michael (2013). Financializing household water: Thames water, MEIF, and 'ring-fenced' politics. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 6(3) pp. 419–439.



Since the privatization of water in England and Wales in 1989, a shift in the pattern of ownership towards more consortia led, global infrastructure funds has witnessed the emergence of a skewed distribution model of financialized infrastructure in the household water sector. A model of debt refinancing based largely upon the securitization of household revenue streams, we argue, has engineered benefits more towards investors than customers. Through the example of Thames Water and its purchase in 2006 by an international consortium of investors led by the Australian bank, the Macquarie Group, this article sets out a model of leveraged debt made possible though the predictable nature of revenue streams captured from households who have no choice over their water supplier or the amount that they have to pay.

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