[These theses published in the Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation news 14.2010 are translated from the German on the Internet, http://www.virc.org. Stephan Schulmeister is an economic researcher in Vienna. The transition from finance- to a real capitalist economic system began with the “great crisis.” This will last years. Finance capitalism increasingly dominant in the last 30 years is full of speculative bubbles and extensive crises based on “money out of thin air” and “letting money work.”]
Thesis 1: The great crisis ushered in the slow collapse of finance capitalism. This form of the market economy has spread since the 1970s. The capitalist “nuclear energy,” the pursuit of profit, concentrated most strongly on finance-assessment and –speculation (in the real capitalism of the 1950s and 1960s it could only develop in the real economy).
Thesis 2: The breeding ground of finance capitalism is the neoliberal worldview. The task of stable exchange rates together with dollar devaluation, oil price shock, recession and high inflation in the 1070s and their control through a high interest policy along with deregulation of the financial markets and the boom of financial innovations (derivatives) in the 1980s – all this was based on neoliberal recommendations. Economic growth was cut in two; unemployment and state indebtedness soared.
Thesis 3: Neoliberalism uses the problems it creates for the further implementation of its demands. With the state indebtedness, austerity policy and (as a result) the weakening of the social state were justified and with unemployment the deregulation of labor relations, atypical jobs and lower unemployment benefits. Both developments dampen economic growth and increase inequality.
Thesis 4: The neoliberal (reform) policy strengthens the mentality of “let our money work,” particularly through promotion of capital “covered,” market-based old age provisions as a main goal of politics. This gained the day through the “art of trading” and through fixation on the stock exchange as the lever of the economy. All this promoted a financial boom since the 1990s.
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