Since the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997, the prevalence and transparency of state ownership – both domestic and foreign -- has exhibited considerable variance across the region. To explain this puzzle, I argue that a tight focus on two dimensions of politics yields a remarkable degree of analytic purchase: centralization of political control and a regime’s coordination commitments. The centralization of political control refers to whether the executive faces institutional checks on its decision-making power. Coordination commitments concern political leaders’ need to accommodate particularistic or encompassing interests. The theory leads to the expectation that state-owned firms in authoritarian regimes will exhibit greater stability in a period of heightened financial volatility. Tests conducted on 896 firms around the collapse of Lehman Brothers offer support for this expectation.