Sovereign Wealth Funds: The New Actors on International Stages


  • Thiti Suwannathat College of Interdisciplinary Thammasat University


Sovereign Wealth Fund, State Capitalism


The emergence of Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) has been becoming increasingly important in the international stages, particularly, when SWFs have used their tremendous wealth to invest and give support some of financial institutions and investment banking. The actions come as other kinds of acquirers have been sidelined by the subprime crisis. The Wall Streets’ best-known firms such as Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup became the latest to get the sovereign-wealth treatment, picking up a further $ 4.4 billion, 5 billion and 7.5 billion respectively, by the Temasek of Singapore, China Investment Corporation and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority of the United Arab Emirates, much of them from the governments in Asia and the Middle East. In the one hand, in principle everyone welcomes foreign investment, but on the other hand when the money belongs to other governments, people, especially politicians, are not always so sure. American’s Congress has uttered barely a success as Wall Streets’ big firms have taken foreign cash. But when credit was loosed it was alarmed at the state-backed acquisition of oil companies, telecommunications, airports, ports and infrastructure projects. The role of SWFs has made a change to the international political economy, particularly, in the capital globalization, international monetary and financial system. After the World War II, the trans-national corporations have driven the world capitalism, those firms characterized as the private capitalism. Today, the capitalism system that has been forcing by the private capitalism is challenged by the SWFs, the government-owned investment funds, which is becoming greater influence in the global capital market.



Aizenman, J. & Glick, R. (2007). “Sovereign Wealth Funds: Stumbling Blocks or Stepping Stones to Financial Globalization?.” FRBSF Economic Letter, 38: 1-3.

Allen, M. & Caruana, J. (2008). “Sovereign Wealth Funds–A Work Agenda.” In International Monetary Funds. Prepared by the Monetary and Capital Market and Policy Development and Review Department, February 4-10.

Badian, L. & Harrington, G. (2008). “The Politics of Sovereign Wealth.” International Economy, 22 (1): 52-84.

Buchanan, P. (2007). The SWFs are Coming. Retrieved July 31, 2016, from

Cohen, B. J. (2009). “Sovereign Wealth Funds and National Security: The Great Tradeoff.” International Affairs, 85 (4): 713-731.

Drezner, D. W. (2008). “Sovereign Wealth Funds and the (In) security of Global Finance.” Journal of International Affairs, 62 (1): 115-130.

Eamon, J. (2009). Pentagon preps for economic warfare. Retrieved January 9, 2016, from

G20 Meeting. (2007). Statement of G-20 Finance Minister Meeting and Central Governors, Klein-mond, South Africa, (November 18, 2007). Retrieved August 11, 2008, from

Gordon, L. C. & Monk, A. (2012). “Modernity, Imitation, and Performance: Sovereign Wealth Funds.” Business and Politics, 14 (2): 7.

Gospel, H. & Pendleton, A. & Vitols, S. (2014). Financialization, New Investment Funds and Labor: An International Comparison. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Henry, S. (2007). Qatar, in U.K. play, Shows Its Deal Thirst; Where to put $1 Billion?. Retrieved July 31, 2016, from

Kern, S. (2007). “Sovereign Wealth Funds-State Investments on the Rise.” in Deutsche Bank Research, September 10.

Kimmitt, R. (2008). “Public Footprints in Private Markets.” Foreign Affairs, 87(1), 119-130.

King, N. Jr. & Hitt, G. (2006). Dubai Ports World Sell U.S. Asset. Retrieved December 12, 2006, from

Mariathasam, J. (2016). The Benefits of a UK Sovereign Wealth Fund. Retrieved December 15, 2016, from

Mulder, C. & Udaibir, S. D. & Yingiu, L. & Sy, A. (2009). “Setting up a Sovereign Wealth Fund: Some Policy and Operational Considerations.” In IMF Working Paper, Prepared by Monetary and Capital Markets Department. August 4-18.

O’Grady, S. (2007). G7 Compromises over Calls to Reform Sovereign Wealth Funds. Retrieved January 21, 2016, from

Paulson, H. M. (2010). On the Brick: Inside the Race to Stop the Collapse of the Global Financial

Rowery, C. (n.d.). Remark on Sovereign Wealth Funds and International Financial System. Retrieved January 21, 2016, from

Saigol, L. (n.d.). Oil and Water Fail to Mix at Thames. Retrieved October 18, 2016, from

Sovereign Wealth Funds Institute. (2019). Lists of Sovereign Wealth Funds, Investment Firms, Hedge Funds, Banks and more. Retrieved February 4, 2019, from

State Administration of Foreign Exchange. (2018). China's Foreign Exchange Reserves (1950-2015). Retrieved January 20, 2019, from

The Economist. (2005). The History of Financial Crisis. Retrieved January 9, 2016, from

Truman, E. W. (2008). “The Rise of Sovereign Wealth Funds: Impacts on US Foreign Policy and Economic Interest. Testimony before the Committee on Foreign Affairs.” In US House of Representatives, Washington, May 21, 2008.

Wall Street Journal. (2015). The Trouble with Sovereign Funds. Retrieved December 23, 2015, from






Original Article