Download American Empire and the Political Economy of Global Finance by Leo Panitch, Martijn Konings PDF

By Leo Panitch, Martijn Konings

In a full of life critique of the way overseas and comparative political financial system misjudge the connection among worldwide markets and states, this booklet demonstrates the significant position of the yankee kingdom in latest international of globalized finance. The participants put aside conventional emphases on army intervention, having a look as an alternative to economics.

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The fact that the New Deal at home never extended to controls over the international movement of capital meant that rhetorical bravado of the kind occasionally heard from politicians like Morgenthau, about ‘driving the usurious money lenders out of the temple of international finance’, should never have been taken too seriously. By the time many of America’s leading capitalists entered the government during the war, the bankers’ adamant opposition to an international treaty re-establishing controls over capital movements was well understood.

Initially using loopholes in exchange control regulations to set up external dollar accounts for Soviet-bloc and Arab states that were wary of banking in New York, British merchant banks switched their international operations Finance and American Empire 25 from sterling to the dollar to take advantage of currency convertibility and the loosening of capital controls in Japan and Europe at the end of the 1950s. This provided a completely unregulated international repository for the dollar at a time when rates of interest in New York were still limited by New Deal regulations.

This is founded on its material foundations in the strength of the American economy and on the capacity of the American state to manage the inevitable volatility of financial markets. The post-war boom had reflected this kind of confidence in American power; the reconstitution of empire that began in the early 1980s was about restoring it after the uncertainties of the 1960s and 1970s. The turning point marked by the Volcker shock thus represented a convergence of imperial and domestic responsibilities.

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