The Restructuring of Capitalism in Our Time

William K. Tabb

Columbia University Press

The Restructuring of Capitalism in Our Time

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Pub Date: January 2012

ISBN: 9780231158428

352 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $50.00£40.00

Pub Date: January 2012

ISBN: 9780231528030

352 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $49.99£40.00

The Restructuring of Capitalism in Our Time

William K. Tabb

Columbia University Press

Actions taken by the United States and other countries during the Great Recession focused on restoring the viability of major financial institutions while guaranteeing debt and stimulating growth. Once the markets stabilized, the United States enacted regulatory reforms that ultimately left basic economic structures unchanged. At the same time, the political class pursued austerity measures to curb the growing national debt. Drawing on the economic theories of Keynes and Minsky and applying them to the modern evolution of American banking and finance, William K. Tabb offers a chilling prediction about future crises and the structural factors inhibiting true reform.

Tabb follows the rise of banking practices and financial motives in America over the past thirty years and the simultaneous growth of a shadow industry of hedge funds, private equity firms, and financial innovations such as derivatives. He marks the shift from an American economy based primarily on the production of goods and nonfinancial services to one characterized by financialization, then shows how these developments, perspectives, and approaches not only contributed to the recent financial crisis but also prevented the enactment of effective regulatory reform. He incisively analyzes the damage that increasing unsustainable debt and excessive risk-taking has done to our financial system and expands his critique to a discussion of world systems and globalization. Revealing the willful blind spots of mainstream finance theory, Tabb moves beyond an economic model reliant on debt expansion and dangerous levels of leverage, proposing instead a social structure of accumulation that places economic justice over profit and, more practically, institutes an inclusive, sustainable model for growth.
Of all the many books on the economic crisis, this is the best. William K. Tabb has absolute command of his subject and provides the clearest account yet of the financial folly that has brought the United States to its knees. Eminently readable and reasonable, his book cuts through the clouds of obfuscation by politicians and economists alike to draw a clear lesson: financialization is a cancer running through the American economy, one that continues to suck the life out of industry, corrupt capitalists, and Congress, generating more froth than real growth or jobs. A wonderful book and a real pleasure to read. Richard Walker, University of California, Berkeley, and author of The Capitalist Imperative: Territory, Technology, and Industrial Growth
Tabb...makes a valuable contribution to the proliferating literature on the ongoing financial crisis with this well-written, carefully researched account of the great recession. Choice
It isn't an easy read like the latest Michael Lewis best seller, but those who perserve will be rewarded. Fred Block, Pacific Standard
... Tabb strives to offer an analytically deep account of real-world developments, not a theory for its own sake... He offers his readers a wealth of empirical evidence and secondary references to substantiate his claims, and he opts for nuance instead of hyperbole where appropriate. This reviewer for one has not seen another crisis-book that manages so wellto fuse big picture thinking with attention to detail. Daniel Mugge, University of Amsterdam, Review of International Political Economy
William Tabb has written an excellent account of the causes of the 2007-2008 credit crunch - and what in 2009 became the first global recession since the 1930s. Jonathan Michie, Oxford University, International Review of Applied Economics
Acknowledgments
1. The Centrality of Finance
2. Financialization and Social Structures of Accumulation
3. Realism in Financial Markets
4. The Shadow of the Financial System
5. The Coming Apart
6. Rescue and the Limits of Regulation
7. Nations, Globalization, and Financialization
8. The Present in History
References
Index

About the Author

William K. Tabb is professor emeritus of economics at Queens College and professor emeritus of economics, political science, and sociology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He has been a visiting professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and scholar in residence at Kansai University, Osaka, Japan. He is also the author of Economic Governance in the Age of Globalization.