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Minsky's Money Manager Capitalism and the Global Financial Crisis

L. Randall Wray

Economics Working Paper Archive from Levy Economics Institute

Abstract: The world's worst economic crisis since the 1930s is now well into its third year. All sorts of explanations have been proffered for the causes of the crisis, from lax regulation and oversight to excessive global liquidity. Unfortunately, these narratives do not take into account the systemic nature of the global crisis. This is why so many observers are misled into pronouncing that recovery is on the way-or even under way already. I believe they are incorrect. We are, perhaps, in round three of a nine-round bout. It is still conceivable that Minsky's "it"-a full-fledged debt deflation with failure of most of the largest financial institutions-could happen again. Indeed, Minsky's work has enjoyed unprecedented interest, with many calling this a "Minsky moment" or "Minsky crisis." However, most of those who channel Minsky locate the beginnings of the crisis in the 2000s. I argue that we should not view this as a "moment" that can be traced to recent developments. Rather, as Minsky argued for nearly 50 years, we have seen a slow realignment of the global financial system toward "money manager capitalism." Minsky's analysis correctly links postwar developments with the prewar "finance capitalism" analyzed by Rudolf Hilferding, Thorstein Veblen, and John Maynard Keynes-and later by John Kenneth Galbraith. In an important sense, over the past quarter century we created conditions similar to those that existed in the run-up to the Great Depression, with a similar outcome. Getting out of this mess will require radical policy changes no less significant than those adopted in the New Deal.

Keywords: Hyman Minsky; Hilferding; Veblen; Keynes; John Kenneth Galbraith; Financial Crisis; Minsky Crisis; Minsky Moment; Finance Capitalism; Money Manager Capitalism; Debt Deflation; Can It Happen Again? (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: B22 B25 B26 B52 E02 E11 E12 E44 G01 G18 G20 G21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cba, nep-his, nep-hpe and nep-pke
Date: 2011-03
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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