Universal Capital
Universal Capital
Universal Capital
Universal Capital
Universal Capital

Global capitalism is the dominant form of economic organization but is unable to address problems such as climate change, wealth inequality, and financial and price instability. Our work in this area develops and implements cutting-edge thinking designed to address these failures of capitalism’s institutional architecture.

The foundational principle of Universal Capital is predistribution–that a more functional economy is one in which wealth is broadly shared as it is being produced rather than produced unequally and redistributed later. Building such an economy requires reimagining the governing institutions of contemporary capitalism. Convening academics, practitioners, and advocates, and working through a range of practices from blue-sky ideation to concrete program analysis and policy design, the program has conducted and promoted research on social wealth funds, pensions, green and public banking, and public infrastructure.

Our current work focuses on institutions that coordinate production, financing, welfare, and consumption. We aim to develop new visions of stable and egalitarian economic futures and find measurable variables that can help move these forward. We call this “the designer economy” – a system that opens itself to public understanding of both the potential and the tradeoffs in a continuously evolving future.


Public Equity Stakes Cover

Public Equity Stakes in U.S. Economic Policymaking

For Everyday Citizens to Save Democracy, It’ll Cost Money. Here’s Where It Can Come From

Public Banking Efforts Are Gaining Momentum and Clarity in California

City Council Wants a Study Into Creating a Los Angeles Public Bank

Coordinating the Supply Side: Creating a Systemic Industrial Policy for the 21st Century

The Origins of Biden’s Most Important Policy, Explained

When The Blue-Collar Backbone Meets Generative AI

Interest and Rationing: Price Controls in Theory and Practice

The Designer Economy

USC Berggruen Fellow Isabella Weber Leads Transnational Evolution in Ideas on Inflation, Economic Policy As Germany Adopts “Gas Price Brake”

Re-Opening the Coordination Problem: Beyond Neoliberal Organization Workshop Report

Re-Opening the Coordination Problem: Beyond Neoliberal Organization Workshop Report

Berggruen Fellows Aim to Reinvent Governance, Imagine Radically Different Futures for Global Systems and Institutions

How Social Housing Can Save California From a Recession

A World Where Finance Is Democratic

‘It’s a Trillion-dollar Question’: Saule Omarova — Biden’s Withdrawn Banking Nominee — Ponders a ‘Fannie Mae’ for Climate Change

Saule Omarova’s Plan for “Public Venture Capital”

The National Investment Authority: A Blueprint

Berggruen Institute’s Saule Omarova Releases Plan to Reimagine US Finance and Investment

Policies for Cooperative Ownership in the Digital Economy

How to Put the Genie of Inflation Back Into the Bottle