About the Speaker
Nicolas Lainez, Visiting Fellow, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute; and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Southeast Asian Studies, NUS, Singapore
About the Webinar
In today’s world, lenders use efficient and sophisticated ways to control and collateralize borrowers’ labour and wages. These practices have had devastating effects on Western middle classes who have lost wages and savings by taking securitized loans. They also affect financially excluded, disadvantaged and precarious workers in transitional economies who pledge future labour to fund consumption and production. This presentation examines how lenders control borrowers’ labour in an informal and highly volatile labour sector: the sex trade in Ho Chi Minh City. It describes how pimps and managers of entertainment outlets who have a labour relationship with sex workers take control of and extract value from their labour by providing loans that are popular in the money lending market. In contrast, moneylenders who have no labour relationship with sex workers control their labour by threatening their honour and body. By shedding light on the interlocking of debt and labour, this presentation contributes to discussions on the power of debt economies to siphon wages.