The policy mistake that Alan Greenspan recognized publicly in 2008 was not related to his monetary policy but to his support for deregulation. It happened because neoliberal ideas became dominant, because neoclassical theory legitimized its main tenets, and because deregulation was undertaken recklessly while financial innovations (principally securitization and derivative schemes) and new banking practices (principally commercial banking, also becoming speculative) remained unregulated. Marx, in Volume III of Capital, emphasized this distinction with his concept of “fictitious capital”, which broadly corresponds to what I call the creation of fictitious wealth and associate with financialization: the artificial increase in the price of assets as a consequence of the increase in leverage. Its three central characteristics are, first, a huge increase in the total value of financial assets circulating around the world as a consequence of the multiplication of financial instruments facilitated by securitization and by derivatives; second, the decoupling of the real economy and the financial economy with the wild creation of fictitious financial wealth benefiting capitalist rentiers; and, third, a major increase in the profit rate of financial institutions and principally in their capacity to pay large bonuses to financial traders for their ability to increase capitalist rents.7 Another form of expressing the major change in financial markets that was associated with financialization is to say that credit ceased to principally be based on loans from banks to business enterprises in the context of the regular financial market, but was increasingly based on securities traded by financial investors (pension funds, hedge funds, mutual funds) in over-the-counter markets. It was a crisis not only of neoliberalism but also of neoclassical economics – of the general equilibrium model, of neoclassical macroeconomics and of neoclassical financial theory. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Maison des Sciences de l'Homme - Paris Nord. (1990), The Golden Age of Capitalism, Oxford: Clarendon Press. Sin embargo, desde finales de los años 1970 una coalición política de capitalistas rentistas y de financistas pasó a ser hegemónica, y ha desregulado los mercados financieros al mismo tiempo que ella creó innovaciones financieras arriesgadas. Financialization will be understood here as a distorted financial arrangement based on the creation of artificial financial wealth, that is, financial wealth disconnected from real wealth or from the production of goods and services. T2 - Governance challenges after neoliberalism. At the same time, investment banks have been engaged in too much speculation by holding securities as much as 35 times of their equity capital and engaged in trading risky financial derivatives such as options, futures, and credit default swaps. Geoff Mulgan remarked that “the lesson of capitalism itself is that nothing is permanent – ‘all that is solid melts into air’ as Marx put it. The main task now is to restore the regulatory power of the state so as to allow markets to perform their economic coordinating role. From the 30 glorious years to the neoliberal years of capitalism, www.kansascityfed.org/publicat/sympos/2008/Buiter.09.06.08.pdf. Now, after the 2008 global crisis, what new regime of accumulation will succeed it? Soros George (1998), The Crisis of Global Capitalism. The less risky debt securities are mostly held by institutional investors and large investors. For example, market cannot adequately curb air pollution and does not have the ability to produce “public goods” such as mass transits and some social needs. Bresser-Pereira Luiz Carlos, Paulo Gala (2007), “Why foreign savings fail to cause growth”, Revista de Economia Política 27 (1): 3-19. A great model that instead of using a historical-deductive method uses a fully hypothetical-deductive method that is suited to methodological sciences, but is unacceptable in a science attempting to explain the real world, as economics is supposed to do. La crisis financiera global, la economía neoclásica y los años neoliberales del capitalismo. As an UNCTAD report (2009: XII) signaled, “Too many agents were trying to squeeze double-digit returns from an economic system that grows only in the lower single-digit range”. It also made possible for the banks to give low interest loans to home buyers who mostly borrowed money on adjustable rates. It is a basic fact that economic agents act in an economic and financial environment characterized by uncertainty – a phenomenon that is not only a consequence of irrational behavior, or of the lack the necessary information about the future that would allow them to act rationally, as conventional economics teaches and financial agents choose to believe; it is also a consequence of the impossibility of predicting the future. We are far from participatory democracy, and elites remain powerful, but their relative power is diminishing. For readers of The Economist over the last 20 years,it was curious to follow the “democratic fight” of stockholders (or capitalist rentiers) against greedy top professional executives. Thus, the rest of the world will have to find sources of additional aggregate demand. Yet, after Budapest 1956, or Prague 1968, it became clear to all that the competition was not between capitalism and socialism, but between capitalism and statism or the technobureaucratic organization of society. In consequence, the financial instability that, since the suspension of the convertibility of the dollar in 1971, was threatening the international financial system was perversely restored. This happens when the banks would not lend money to financially weak individuals due to risk of default. Arrow Kenneth J. and Gerard Debreu (1954), “Existence of equilibrium for a competitive economy”, Econometrica 22 (3): 265-290. The consequence is that it also demoralized the legal system, and, more broadly, the value or moral system that regulates society. 22Globalization was an inevitable consequence of technological change, but this does not mean that the capitalist system is not a “natural” form of economic and social system in so far as it can be systematically changed by human will as expressed in culture and institutions. Esos fueron los "30 años neoliberales del capitalismo". One had to file for bankruptcy, two were rescued by the depositors’ money, and the other two were converted to commercial banks so that could borrow money from the Federal Reserve Bank and could open deposit accounts. The same groups of liberalists, who believed government should not regulate and intervene in the market, helplessly turned to government for help in the midst of the crisis. All transactions should be much more transparent. Keywords: neoliberalism; social structures of accumulation; crisis; asset bubble; financial fragility 1. A practical confirmation of their ingrained immorality is present in the two surveys undertaken by Robert Frank, Thomas Gilovich, and Dennis Regan (1993, 1996), and published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, one of the journals of the American Economic Association. The aim is to get beyond the convention asking the well-rehearsed questions about what caused the crisis, or why the established theories could not predict it. Rich countries are usually exempt from this second type of crisis because they usually do not take foreign loans but make them, and, when they do take loans it is in their own currency. Buiter Willen H. (2008), “Central banks and financial crises”, Kansas City: 2008 Symposium of the Federal Reserve Bank Kansas City, August 21-23, available at www.kansascityfed.org/publicat/sympos/2008/Buiter.09.06.08.pdf. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes. Yet, if we assume that economics is the science of economic systems, while economic decision-making science studies choice between economic alternatives, Marshallian microeconomics was not a major advance in economics itself but rather in economic decision-making theory (complemented later by game theory). That led some financially weak individuals to default on their mortgage payments. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 6 Neoclassical economics was able to abuse mathematics. 44There is little doubt that the political coalition was successful in capturing the economic surplus produced by the capitalist economies. Thus, neoliberalism was an ideology out of time. Group of Thirty – Working Group on Financial Reform (2009), Financial Reform: a Framework for Financial Stability. Financial professionals who work in Wall Street have privileged information about the financial status of companies. (2005), “Introduction: financialization and the world economy”, in Gerald A. Epstein, ed. Under the cover of weapons of mass destruction and the so called “war on terror” the neocons started their mission by invading Afghanistan in 2001 to protect the oil pipeline routes of Central Asia and later occupied Iraq in 2003 to control the vast oil resources in that country. Or, as Michel Aglietta (2008: 8) observed: “the crisis follows always a long and painful path; in fact, it is necessary to reduce everything that increased excessively: value, the elements of wealth, the balance sheet of economic agents.” Thus, despite the bold fiscal policies adopted by governments, aggregate demand will probably remain feeble for some years. As a result, the US Treasury was in a weak financial position to bail out the rest. Financial risk should be systematically limited. The debt instruments are not as liquid as stocks and when there is possibility of default nobody wants to buy them. Comment on Global Research Articles on our Facebook page, Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Geneva: United Nations, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. The pandemic hit after four decades of neoliberalism had depleted state capacities in the name of the ‘superior efficiency’ of the market, fostered deindustrialisation through the ‘globalisation’ of production, and built fragile financial structures secured only by the state, all in the name of short-term profitability. He believed capitalism would eventually be replaced by socialism. To the extent that concomitantly a professional class emerged situated between the capitalist class and the working class, that the professional executives of the great corporations gained autonomy in relation to stockholders, and that the public bureaucracy managing the state apparatus increased in size and influence, other analysts called it “organized” or “technobureaucratic capitalism”.2 The new mass production economic system developed and became complex. Following the dot-com boom bubble burst and the stock market crash in 2000, the US economy went to recession in 2001. Mulgan Geoff (2009), “After capitalism”, Prospect magazine 157, April 2009. Galbraith John Kenneth (1967), The New Industrial State. At the beginning of this decade, the Republican Party, the main proponent of laissez faire capitalism, had everything it wanted at its disposal. The results are evident as the United Sates produces 25% of the world air pollution while it has only 5% of the world population. As Willen Buiter (2008: 106) observed in a post-crisis symposium at the Federal Reserve Bank, the special interests related to the financial industry do not engage in corrupting monetary authorities, but the authorities internalize, “as if by osmosis, the objectives, interests and perceptions of reality of the private vested interests that they are meant to regulate and survey in the public interest”. Yet these direct causes did not emerge from thin air, nor can they be explained simply by natural greed. 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