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Money Manager Capitalism and the Global Financial Crisis

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  • L. Randall Wray

Abstract

This paper applies Hyman Minsky's approach to provide an analysis of the causes of the global financial crisis. Rather than finding the origins in recent developments, this paper links the crisis to the long-term transformation of the economy from a robust financial structure in the 1950s to the fragile one that existed at the beginning of this crisis in 2007. As Minsky said, "Stability is destabilizing": the relative stability of the economy in the early postwar period encouraged this transformation of the economy. Today's crisis is rooted in what he called "money manager capitalism," the current stage of capitalism dominated by highly leveraged funds seeking maximum returns in an environment that systematically under-prices risk. With little regulation or supervision of financial institutions, money managers have concocted increasingly esoteric instruments that quickly spread around the world. Those playing along are rewarded with high returns because highly leveraged funding drives up prices for the underlying assets. Since each subsequent bust wipes out only a portion of the managed money, a new boom inevitably rises. Perhaps this will prove to be the end of this stage of capitalism--the money manager phase. Of course, it is too early even to speculate on the form capitalism will take. I will only briefly outline some policy implications.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_578.

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Date of creation: Sep 2009
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Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_578

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Web page: http://www.levyinstitute.org

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Cited by:
  1. Jörg Bibow, 2010. "Alternative Strategien der Budgetkonsolidierung in Österreich nach der Rezession," IMK Studies 03-2010, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  2. Varadi, Vijay Kumar, 2012. "An evidence of speculation in Indian commodity markets," MPRA Paper 38337, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Eduardo Strachman & José Ricardo Fucidji, 2012. "The Current Financial And Economic Crisis: Empirical And Methodological Issues," Journal of Advanced Studies in Finance, ASERS Publishing, vol. 0(1), pages 95-123, June.
  4. Hein, Eckhard, 2011. "Distribution, ‘Financialisation’ and the Financial and Economic Crisis – Implications for Post-crisis Economic Policies," MPRA Paper 31180, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Phil Briggs & Carly Harker & Tim Ng & Aidan Yao, 2011. "Fluctuations in the international prices of oil, dairy products, beef and lamb between 2000 and 2008: A review of market-specific demand and supply factors," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP2011/02, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  6. Costa Cabral, Nazare, 2010. "Breve guia temático e bibliográfico sobre o estudo da actual crise financeira e económica
    [Short thematic guide to the study of current financial and economic crisis]
    ," MPRA Paper 20743, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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