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Extra info for The Failure of Anglo-liberal Capitalism

Sample text

At minimum, then, a public contest over economic expectations might lead to a rather greater dose of economic realism. This begins to look like something of an alternative economic strategy for Labour. But as a strategy, it lacks one key thing. For what such an alternative crisis discourse calls for is a new growth model to replace the one that is broken. And herein lies the problem. For although, in their different ways, all of the principal parties acknowledge the need for an alternative growth model, none appears to have a clear sense of what one might look like.

Because of the highly securitised character of the US mortgage market, a breath-taking variety of international financial institutions that had been siphoning up whatever US MBSs they could get hold of now found themselves exposed to major losses – as these previously high-yielding securities were rapidly reclassified as ‘toxic assets’. 1057/9781137360519 From Bubble Burst to Austerity  prompting the largest ever bailout of the financial sector as the world economy slumped into its longest and deepest recession since the 1930s and as inter-bank lending and hence the global supply of credit seized up altogether.

Yet it was the easy access to credit, much of it secured against a rising property market, which was its most basic precondition. This served to broaden access to – and improve affordability within – the housing market, driving a developing house-price bubble. Once inflated, this was sustained and, increasingly, nurtured, by interest rates which remained historically low throughout the boom – and which, with the benefit of hindsight, had to remain unprecedentedly low for the boom to last. 1057/9781137360519  The Failure of Anglo-liberal Capitalism To all intents and purposes it appeared that a virtuous cycle had been established, in which the preconditions of growth were mutually reinforcing.

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