Financialization of the Global Economy
Posted: 15 Nov 2008
Date Written: December 2008
The instability of the world financial system, starkly revealed in the recent debacle, is not the only problem it poses. Its secularly increasing dominance over the real economy is in itself a phenomenon that needs examining. The article traces the source of this increasing dominance not just to the increasingly leveraged and increasingly incomprehensible forms of intermediation between savers and those in the real economy who need credit and insurance, but also to the increasingly universal doctrine that maximizing “shareholder value” is the sole raison d’être of the firm and the promotion by governments of an “equity culture.” Some of the social consequences of financialization are exacerbating inequalities, greater insecurity, misdirection of talent, and the erosion of trust.
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