American Empire and the Political Economy of Global Finance by Leo Panitch, Martijn Konings

By Leo Panitch, Martijn Konings

In a full of life critique of ways overseas and comparative political economic climate misjudge the connection among international markets and states, this publication demonstrates the valuable position of the yank nation in ultra-modern international of globalized finance. The individuals put aside conventional emphases on army intervention, having a look as an alternative to economics.

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And it would have to come to be seen that, far from necessarily representing a diminution of American power, the outflow of capital and the balance of payments deficits were actually laying the basis for a dollar-based credit expansion and financial innovation, both domestically and internationally – what Seabrooke appropriately calls the ‘diffusion of power through the dollar’ (2001: 68). Above all, it would be necessary for the American state, as the imperial state, to retain the confidence of the ever more dynamic and powerful financial capitalists in the face of the pressures on the dollar.

Within the third world, instances of attempted withdrawal from Americanled global capitalism were contained (the American defeat in Vietnam had not led to any domino effect) or turned around (the overthrow of Allende being followed by the introduction of neoliberalism under Pinochet), while the recycling of petrodollars further integrated the third world into global financial circuits. Yet the management of global capitalism remained problematic. What had not emerged were the disciplinary mechanisms needed to adjust national economies to the rhythms of international accumulation.

The Federal base rate rose from an average of 8 per cent in 1978 to over 19 per cent at the beginning of 1981 and did not consistently return to less than double digits until after 1984. The Fed’s brief embrace at this time of the Friedmanite goal of controlling the money supply was contradicted by the diversity of financial instruments that had already developed – and that would soon spread much further under the impetus of extremely high interest rates. As Greenspan (1997) later explained: ‘Increasingly since 1982 we have been setting the funds rate directly .

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