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Business as UsualThe Roots of the Global Financial Meltdown$
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Craig Calhoun and Georgi Derluguian

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814772775

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814772775.001.0001

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The Enigma of Capital and the Crisis This Time

The Enigma of Capital and the Crisis This Time

(p.89) Chapter 3 The Enigma of Capital and the Crisis This Time
Business as Usual

David Harvey

NYU Press

This chapter situates the current crisis in relation to both capitalism and the era of neoliberalism and finance capitalism, stressing in particular how an era obsessed with managing risks failed to come to terms with “systemic risk.” Figuring prominently in this is the question of what would happen to a highly leveraged financial system if liquidity dried up. In order to make deeper sense of it, the chapter argues that the internal contradictions of capital accumulation should be addressed. Capitalism works in part by repeatedly challenging, transcending, or working around limits, barriers to growth. It suffers temporary crises and regains momentum as limits are overcome. As such, there is potential for a renewed capitalist momentum with China in the forefront, but there is also the possibility of trying to create a new and different kind of economy more directly focused on meeting human needs.

Keywords:   neoliberalism, financial capitalism, capitalism, managing risks, systemic risk, capitalist momentum, economy

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