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date: 18 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter unpacks the concepts of trust and legitimacy as they pertain to sovereign funds in the global political economy. Its argument is divided into three parts. First, the importance of trust in finance and geopolitics, and the critical role of transparency, and how this relates to sovereign funds. Second, the legitimacy of sovereign funds at home and abroad in general with particular reference to how the regulatory regime surrounding public institutional investors in developed democracies is emulated in the Santiago Principles, and why it is significant for understanding the legitimacy of sovereign funds. Third, the current state of trust and legitimacy for sovereign funds is evaluated, with an explanation of why the continued opacity of some sovereign funds has not reduced trustworthiness. The chapter concludes on a speculative note, suggesting that the expected institutional form and function of sovereign funds may be at odds with the long-term interests of their state-sponsors.

Keywords: sovereign wealth funds, finance, legitimacy, trust, trustworthiness, transparency, public institutional investors

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