The Development of American Finance

The Development of American Finance

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Since the 1960s, scholars and other commentators have frequently announced the imminent decline of American financial power: excessive speculation and debt are believed to have undermined the long-term basis of a stable US-led financial order. But the American financial system has repeatedly shown itself to be more resilient than such assessments suggest. This book argues that there is considerable coherence to American finance: far from being a house of cards, it is a proper edifice, built on institutional foundations with points of both strength and weakness. The book examines these foundations through a historical account of their construction: it shows how institutional transformations in the late nineteenth century created a distinctive infrastructure of financial relations and proceeds to trace the contradiction-ridden expansion of this system during the twentieth century as well as its institutional consolidation during the neoliberal era. It concludes with a discussion of the forces of instability that hit at the start of the twenty-first century.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139144200
  • 9781139144209

Review quote

"In The Development of American Finance, the international political economist Martijn Konings provides a succinct and useful account of approximately three hundred years of American financial history. Readers seeking an overview written from a distinct point of view will find the book valuable and thought provoking." -Julia Cathleen Ott, The New School, The Journal of American History
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Table of contents

1. Introduction; 2. Finance from Britain to the American colonies; 3. The financial dynamics of antebellum America; 4. Contours of American finance; 5. Contradictions of early twentieth-century financial expansion; 6. The United States and international finance in the interwar period; 7. New foundations for financial expansion; 8. Contradictions of the dollar; 9. The domestic expansion of American finance; 10. Contradictions of late twentieth-century financial expansion; 11. The neoliberal consolidation of American financial power; 12. Contradictions of the present.
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