United in Debt: Towards a Global Crisis of Debt-Driven Finance?

Science and Society 69 (3):396 - 419 (2005)
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Over the past two decades, the collapse of the financial systems in many developing nations, the bankruptcies in the Anglo-Saxon corporate sectors and a threat of more sovereign defaults on behalf of emerging markets suggest that the current wave of global financial fragility and recession rivals that of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Among elements that account for the crisis-prone nature of global capitalism are the political discipline of neoliberalism; debt-driven expansion of the privatized financial markets; and the profound disarticulation of the financial and real economies. Contrary to mainstream readings of financial crises, today's financial upheavals are rooted in the debtladen regime of neoliberal finance. Today's debt-driven capitalism is both unstable and limited in its developmental possibilities. Nevertheless, a paradigmatic shift in the transnational political consensus can prevent a global repetition of the 1930s.



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