It’s all about interest rates [Usury]. Rising interest rates undermine financial asset values and falling rates increase them. From 1981 until March 2020, the trend has been for the inflation of prices to subside and interest rates to decline with them. And following Paul Volcker’s interest rate hikes at that time, this is when the era of economic financialisation commenced.
In the early eighties, London underwent a financial revolution with banks taking over stockbrokers and jobbers. It was the end of single capacity, whereby you were either a principal or agent, but never both.
America responded to London’s big-bang by rescinding the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated investment from commercial banking following the 1929—1932 Wall Street Crash. Money-centre banking was about to go all-in on financialisation. Increasingly, manufacturing of consumer goods was moving from America and Europe to China and the Far East. The Wall Street megabanks had less of this business as a proportion of total American and European economic activities to finance. Small, local banks, particularly in Europe, continued to be the financing backbone for small enterprises.
Alasdair Macleod Archives
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