Financialism: A (Very) Brief History

Creighton Law Review, Vol. 43, p. 323, 2010

THE EMBEDDED FIRM, Peer Zumbansen and Cynthia Williams, eds., Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming

GWU Legal Studies Research Paper

15 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2010

See all articles by Ezra Wasserman Mitchell

Ezra Wasserman Mitchell

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics - School of Law

Date Written: August 9, 2010

Abstract

This essay describes various financial, economic, and legal developments in the United States from 1952 until 2007 and argues that they suggest a transformation of the American economic system from capitalism to one I term "financialism." Financialism is a system in which the real economy plays a secondary role to the financial economy, in the process stripping future real economic profits for present consumption. While it bears similarities to the process often identified in the economic literature as "financialization," it differs both in historical scope and in its suggestion that financialism differs fundamentally from capitalism.

Keywords: Financial Crisis, Capitalism, Securities, Finance, Investment Banking, Commercial Banking, Banking, Executive Compensation, Shareholders, Stock, Stock Market, Proprietary Trading

Suggested Citation

Wasserman Mitchell, Ezra, Financialism: A (Very) Brief History (August 9, 2010). Creighton Law Review, Vol. 43, p. 323, 2010; THE EMBEDDED FIRM, Peer Zumbansen and Cynthia Williams, eds., Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1655739

Ezra Wasserman Mitchell (Contact Author)

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics - School of Law ( email )

777 Guoding Road
Shanghai, 200433
China

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