Yesterday, I received my very own copy of Greta Krippner’s* just released, Capitalizing on Crisis!
Capitalizing on Crisis examines the political history of the rise of finance post-WWII. Chapter 2 examines “Financialization” as a distinct mode of accumulation, and provides evidence for the trend towards the financialization of the American economy. Chapters 3 and 4 explain how successive administrations dealt with recurring problems of the scarcity of credit – a problem we had all but forgotten after those administrations eventually deregulated finance in the 1980s, with the removal of interest-rate caps and the entrance of foreign funds into the U.S., but which briefly resurfaced in the depths of the financial crisis. Chapter 5 has the single quickest and most comprehensible introduction to what the Federal Reserve actually does to control interest rates, and how they too faced problems they did not want to be responsible for. That last part is an underlying theme to the book: how do governments in (somewhat) democratic systems act without taking responsibility for negative outcomes? How do they actively intervene to improve outcomes while remaining avowedly pro-free market or neoliberal? Krippner calls this the “neoliberal dilemma” and she shows how the Fed, at least, learned how to act without acting, so to speak.
As an added bonus, OrgTheory is doing a Book Forum on Capitalizing on Crisis in April! So read the book now and get ready to enjoy the “blog-versation”**!
* Full disclosure: Greta Krippner is my advisor, and I was a research assistant for her when she was finishing the manuscript.
** I hate myself a little for writing that word.