Chapter

The historical context of the global financial crisis: from Bretton Woods to the debacle of neoliberalism

George Lambie

in From recession to renewal

Published by Policy Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9781847427007
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302377 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847427007.003.0002
The historical context of the global financial crisis: from Bretton Woods to the debacle of neoliberalism

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The global financial crisis, which began in 2007 and was temporarily contained in 2009 by national-level government interventions, still holds deep and worrying implications for the future. This chapter examines the economic, political, and ideological processes that have led to the rise of globalisation driven by ‘market fundamentalism’. It considers how states have been compromised and offers options that may still remain for them to intervene so as to prevent systemic failure. The starting point for this analysis is the Bretton Woods conference of 1944, when the wartime Allies, led by the United States and Britain, met to establish a financially regulated order of nation-states that would contain the excesses of free capital movements. The discussion pays particular attention to the regulation and deregulation of finance since the Second World War.

Keywords: globalisation; market fundamentalism; finance deregulation; Second World War; free capital movements; United States; Britain

Chapter.  10441 words. 

Subjects: Economic Sociology

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