Edited by Deborah M. Figart and Tonia L. Warnecke
Chapter 23: Gender, debt and the housing/financial crisis
When financial crises occurred in Latin America, Russia, and Asia during the 1980s and1990s, analysts could safely argue that the financial instabilities were not systemic, but were the result of shortcomings in the affected countries (Wade, 2008), meaning that these countries needed to clean up their crony capitalism and start dismantling their protective domestic barriers. The picture has changed dramatically since the emergence of the US subprime (loan) housing crisis in mid-2007, which led to a full-blown, systemic financial crisis with devastating impact on the real economy in both industrial and developing countries. Because the financial crisis had its epicentre on Wall Street, the collapse has undermined the confidence in the superiority of the American free market philosophy. As discourse has shifted from the benefits of financial liberalization to the costs of fast and excessive financial liberalization (Semmler and Young, 2010), the efficient market hypothesis, the cornerstone of neoclassical economics, has largely been refuted as a myth (Stiglitz et al., 2006; Csaba, 2009). Even the representative voice of liberal international capital, The Financial Times, declared the era of deregulation begun under US President Ronald Reagan was officially dead after the collapse of the investment banks Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and others, and the conversion of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs into regular commercial banks (September 21, 2008).
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