The Great Financial Meltdown
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The Great Financial Meltdown

Systemic, Conjunctural or Policy Created?

Edited by Turan Subasat

The Great Financial Meltdown reviews, advocates and critiques the systemic, conjunctural and policy-based explanations for the 2008 crisis. The book expertly examines these explanations to assess their analytical and empirical validity. Comprehensive yet accessible chapters, written by a collection of prominent authors, cover a wide range of political economy approaches to the crisis, from Marxian through to Post Keynesian and other heterodox schools.
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Chapter 14: Contradictions of capital accumulation in the age of financialization

Özgür Orhangazi


This chapter presents two broad arguments. First, financialization can be understood as an inherent tendency within capitalism and historically this tendency has manifested itself in different forms. Second, the relationship between finance and the productive accumulation process is a complex and contradictory one and Marxian theorizations of financialization need to take these complexities and contradictions into account. In other words, financial and real sides of the economy should not be taken in abstraction from each other but rather as forming a contradictory unity. This argument runs against some Keynesian arguments that see finance simply impinging upon the real economy, as well as some Marxian arguments where finance is presented only as an afterthought where determination runs only from the real side to the financial. In this regard, some of the arguments here partly follow from Orhangazi (2011), where the author argued that the relationship between the real and financial sides of the economy has become increasingly more complicated and contradictory. Therefore, presenting the rise of finance as some external force impinging on the economy is a simplification that ignores other structural problems originating in the economy and fails to give a complete explanation of the rise of finance and its relation to the rest of the economy. Likewise, presenting financialization simply as a response to accumulation problems in the non-financial parts of the economy also amounts to an oversimplification. Reference: Orhangazi, O. (2011), ‘Financial’ vs. ‘Real’: An Overview of the Contradictory Role and Place of Finance in the Modern Economy’, Research in Political Economy, 27, 121–148.

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