Notes from the Editors, September 2007
Keywords:Global Economic Crisis, Political Economy
» Notes from the EditorsWe have been arguing in these pagesfor more than three decades that the dominant economic reality of advanced capitalism is a tendency toward stagnation of production accompanied by financial explosion. In an article on "The Centrality of Finance," in the August 2007 issue of the Journal of World-System Research, MR and MR Press author William K. Tabb writes: Real global growth averaged 4.9 percent a year during the Golden Age of national Keynesianism (1950-1973). It was 3.4 percent between 1974 and 1979; 3.3 percent in the 1980s; and only 2.3 percent in the 1990s, the decade with the slowest growth since World War II. The slowing of the real economy led investors to seek higher returns in financial speculation.... [I]increased liquidity and lower costs of borrowing encouraged in turn further expansion of finance. The coincident trends of growing inequality and insecurity...and the spreading power of rapid financialization do not suggest a smooth continued expansion path for a society based on increased debt and growing leverage.