The Public Wealth of Nations

How Management of Public Assets Can Boost or Bust Economic Growth

  • Authors
  • Dag Detter
  • Stefan Fölster

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Dag Detter, Stefan Fölster
    Pages 1-15
  3. Dag Detter, Stefan Fölster
    Pages 43-62
  4. Dag Detter, Stefan Fölster
    Pages 63-71
  5. Dag Detter, Stefan Fölster
    Pages 72-80
  6. Dag Detter, Stefan Fölster
    Pages 81-108
  7. Dag Detter, Stefan Fölster
    Pages 125-135
  8. Dag Detter, Stefan Fölster
    Pages 136-158
  9. Dag Detter, Stefan Fölster
    Pages 159-171
  10. Dag Detter, Stefan Fölster
    Pages 172-184
  11. Dag Detter, Stefan Fölster
    Pages 185-195
  12. Dag Detter, Stefan Fölster
    Pages 196-198
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 199-230

About this book


We have spent the last three decades engaged in a pointless and irrelevant debate about the relative merits of privatization or nationalization. We have been arguing about the wrong thing while sitting on a goldmine of assets.

Don’t worry about who owns those assets, worry about whether they are managed effectively.

Why does this matter? Because despite the Thatcher/ Reagan economic revolution, the largest pool of wealth in the world – a global total that is much larger than the world’s total pensions savings, and ten times the total of all the sovereign wealth funds on the planet – is still comprised of commercial assets that are held in public ownership. If professionally managed, they could generate an annual yield of 2.7 trillion dollars, more than current global spending on infrastructure: transport, power, water, and communications.

Based on both economic research and hands-on experience from many countries, the authors argue that publicly owned commercial assets need to be taken out of the direct and distorting control of politicians and placed under professional management in a ‘National Wealth Fund’ or its local government equivalent. Such a move would trigger much-needed structural reforms in national economies, thus resurrect strained government finances, bolster ailing economic growth, and improve the fabric of democratic institutions.


Wealth Nations Assets Economy economic growth growth management Wealth of Nations

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2015
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave Business & Management Collection
  • Print ISBN 978-1-349-70490-3
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-51986-3
  • About this book