Financial historians have devoted considerable attention to the investment behaviour of urban politicians in the market for public debt in the Low Countries. They have focused not only on how many urban officials invested in annuities, but also why they did so. On the one hand, it has been suggested that political elites often had political and economic motivations for investing in urban annuities. By contrast, historians from the institutional school defend the thesis that inclusive governance led to broader participation in the market for urban credit. A variable that has gone largely unnoticed in explaining investments by the political elite is the impact of the changing composition and social profile of the ruling elites on their investment behaviour. In this article, I examine the case of sixteenth-century Ghent to argue that changes in the city's power structure resulted in profound changes in attitudes towards public debt management. While the old political elite in the early sixteenth century prioritised selling annuities to individuals who belonged to the political networks of their time, the group of political newcomers that dominated urban politics at the end of the sixteenth century had much more of a market-oriented attitude, giving priority to non-political investors in the free market.