Download American Empire and the Political Economy of Global Finance by Leo Panitch, Martijn Konings (eds.) PDF

By Leo Panitch, Martijn Konings (eds.)

In a full of life critique of ways overseas and comparative political financial system misjudge the connection among worldwide markets and states, this booklet demonstrates the relevant position of the yankee country in brand new international of globalized finance. The members put aside conventional emphases on army intervention, taking a look as a substitute to economics.

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However it was articulated, the real issue was not so much finding the right monetary policy, as restructuring class relations. Breaking inflationary expectations could not be achieved without defeating the working class’s aspirations and its collective capacity to act to fulfil them. Notably, once the government entered directly into the Chrysler bankruptcy proceedings in 1980, Congress insisted that Paul Volcker sit on the public board responsible for the negotiations with the company, its creditors and suppliers, and the union; and Volcker was indeed finally responsible for securing from the UAW, the highest-profile union in the US, the conditionality (wage cuts and outsourcing) attached to the loan that Chrysler was granted.

What had not emerged were the disciplinary mechanisms needed to adjust national economies to the rhythms of international accumulation. An immediate barrier to such a development was that the American state itself had not imposed the necessary domestic discipline that would allow it to maintain the value of the dollar as the international currency, a failure that was manifested in inflation in the US, and turmoil in international financial markets. While the end to dollar–gold convertibility in 1971 allowed for greater American foreign policy autonomy and the avoidance of drastic domestic austerity, it did not overcome the contradiction between the American state’s imperial and domestic roles.

11 But while all the advanced capitalist states increasingly recognized (to varying degrees) the responsibility they had to participate in the 26 Contours and Sources of Imperial Finance management of international capitalism, they also recognized – and increasingly insisted on – the central role the American state had to play in this. Only the American state bore the burden – and had the accompanying capacity and autonomy – to take on the task of managing the system as a whole. Yet how exactly the American state was to do this became the burning question of the 1960s and 1970s.

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