IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The economies of deleveraging: The aftermath of financialization


  • Thomas I. Palley

    () (New America Foundation, Wshington DC.)


This paper provides a simple model of deleveraging that surfaces the contradictions inherent in neoliberal financialization and explains the pattern of US business cycles over the past thirty years. Deleveraging involves a two step correction. The first step is when a borrowing boom ends. The second step is when agents increase saving and re-pay debt. Borrowing accelerates economic activity as consumers spend. When borrowing stops, the economy slows. Moreover, the economy is further slowed by accumulated debt burdens. With deleveraging, households increase saving and re-pay debt which deepens the economic slowdown. Repayment reduces debt, helping economic activity eventually to recover.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas I. Palley, 2010. "The economies of deleveraging: The aftermath of financialization," European Journal of Economics and Economic Policies: Intervention, Edward Elgar Publishing, vol. 7(2), pages 401-413.
  • Handle: RePEc:elg:ejeepi:v:7:y:2010:i:2:p401-413

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yeva Nersisyan & L. Randall Wray, 2010. "The Trouble with Pensions: Toward an Alternative Public Policy to Support Retirement," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_109, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. L. Randall Wray, 2009. "The rise and fall of money manager capitalism: a Minskian approach," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(4), pages 807-828, July.
    3. Marshall Auerback & L. Randall Wray, 2010. "Toward True Health Care Reform: More Care, Less Insurance," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_110, Levy Economics Institute.
    4. Eric Tymoigne & L. Randall Wray, 2009. "It Isn't Working: Time for More Radical Policies," Economics Public Policy Brief Archive ppb_105, Levy Economics Institute.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Costas Lapavitsas & Ivan Mendieta-Muñoz, 2017. "Financialisation at a Watershed in the USA JEL Classification: B50, E10, E44, G20," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2017_10, University of Utah, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    deleveraging; debt; financialization;

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:elg:ejeepi:v:7:y:2010:i:2:p401-413. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Katie Smith). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.