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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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A Turning Point or Business as Usual?

A Turning Point or Business as Usual?

(p.113) Chapter 4 A Turning Point or Business as Usual?
Business as Usual

Daniel Chirot

NYU Press

This chapter documents the culture of extreme risk-taking that became business as usual in this era of “financialization.” It suggests that the crisis of 2008 was a more or less conventional capitalist crisis and that it can potentially be met by a more or less conventional, largely Keynesian government response. But it was also a panic, a product of social psychology, and the chapter closes by asking what happens when such a panic coincides with deeper capitalist crises and long-term technological cycles. We face a choice of possible futures: serious reforms (which seem increasingly unlikely as anxiety about a deep depression subsides), muddling through and leaving in place the sources of future crises (most likely), and an even greater crisis produced not by economic failure but by political madness or war.

Keywords:   risk-taking, financialization, 2008 crisis, capitalist crisis, social psychology

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