Finance, Imperialism, and the Hegemony of the Dollar

by Chris Sturr | April 07, 2008

Economist and D&S collective member Ramaa Vasudevan has an article in the current (April) issue of Monthly Review. It appears to be available only in the print edition; here is the abstract:

Finance, Imperialism, and the Hegemony of the Dollar
Ramaa Vasudevan

The July–August 2007 crisis in subprime mortgage markets precipitated the collapse of the market for asset-backed securities, forcing huge write-downs of more than $45 billion on the balance sheets of major banks. In the aftershock, interbank lending dried up. Bond insurers and money market funds were beset by a loss of confidence as the credit squeeze spread. The plunge in stock markets in January 2008 suggests that the repercussions of the collapse of the subprime mortgage market are still working their way through financial markets. With over 170,000 jobs lost and the expected spate of foreclosures, many observers believe that the credit crunch has pushed the economy towards a recession.

The article explores the U.S. dollar’s “role in the mechanisms of U.S. imperialist hegemony,” and the growth of financialization (“the growing political and economic power of finance along with the explosion of financial trading that facilitates a pattern of accumulation where profit-making is engineered increasingly through financial channels.” (MR editor John Bellamy Foster has an article on financialization in the current issue; that one is posted to the MR site.)

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