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The Crisis of Risk

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The Crisis of Risk

Subprime Debt and US Financial Power from 1944 to Present

9781800370821 Edward Elgar Publishing
Scott M. Aquanno, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities, Ontario Tech University, Canada
Publication Date: August 2021 ISBN: 978 1 80037 082 1 Extent: c 200 pp
For the last decade, progressive scholars determined to understand the 2008 financial crisis have examined the growth of US subprime mortgage debt in the period leading up to the collapse and how government policy supported this accumulation. However, the long history of the subprime crisis, its connection to the patterns of financial risk designated by the postwar international monetary system, has been all too often overlooked. This book explores the long history of the subprime crisis through an original theoretic lens that sheds light on the institutional basis of global debt markets and the role of US Treasury debt in the international financial system.

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Critical Acclaim
Contents
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For the last decade, progressive scholars determined to understand the 2008 financial crisis have examined the growth of US subprime mortgage debt in the period leading up to the collapse and how government policy supported this accumulation. However, the long history of the subprime crisis, its connection to the patterns of financial risk designated by the postwar international monetary system, has been all too often overlooked.

Subsequently, the literature has considered the financial crisis as somehow disconnected from the specific evolution of the Bretton Woods financial system and the perceived safety of US Treasury bonds. With this, an important opportunity has been lost to develop critical political economy literature on financial markets. This book explores the long history of the subprime crisis through an original theoretic lens that sheds light on the institutional basis of global debt markets and the role of US Treasury debt in the international financial system.

This book will introduce new ideas and appeal to university students and faculty interested in learning more about US financial power and the origins of the subprime crisis.

Critical Acclaim
‘In this exemplary work of critical and cultural political economy, Scott Aquanno shines a bright light on the resilient financial foundations of American hegemony. Even those who see the world differently will benefit from engaging deeply with his analysis of “US risk power” as consolidated and extended through the international bond market.’
– Louis W. Pauly, University of Toronto, Canada

‘This is a truly path-breaking work. Building on the insights of “Institutional Marxism”, Aquanno offers a powerful framework for grasping the relationship between finance and the state. This is then applied to giving us an especially coherent understanding of the twists and turns of both postwar economic history and the power and turbulence of modern finance.’
– Sam Gindin, York University, Canada

‘This is indeed a very major original contribution. Its focus on showing how the institutional power of the US Federal Reserve and Treasury in the global economy are rooted in the way financial risk in international bond markets became structured, managed and contained from the Bretton Woods era right to the 2008-9 great financial crisis and through the Great Recession to today, is a very much needed addition to the international and comparative political economy literature.’
– Leo Panitch, York University, Canada
Contents
Contents: Preface 1. Subprime markets in global capitalism: history and contradictions PART I ABSTRACT RISK AND US FINANCIAL POWER 2. Risking finance 3. The power of debt PART II THE DEEP HISTORY OF THE SUBPRIME CRISIS 4. International bonds and the Bretton Woods era 5. Volcker and the dollar standard 6. Bonding global markets 7. Regulating risk PART III THE SUBPRIME CRISIS AS THE CRISIS OF RISK 8. The risk crisis 9. Management renewed 10. The future of risk in the era of authoritarian capitalism References Index

This title is available for institutional purchase via Elgaronline.

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