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Financialisation and the Financial Crisis: On Shifts in Governance of Global Finances - Essay Example

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Financialisation and the Financial Crisis: On Shifts in Governance of Global Finances Introduction This paper is an attempt to trace the linkage between financialisation and the financial crisis and the degree to which the former is implicated in the latter…
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Financialisation and the Financial Crisis: On Shifts in Governance of Global Finances
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Financialisation and the Financial Crisis: On Shifts in Governance of Global Finances

(Baker 2011). In spite of the different symptomatic origins of the Greek crisis and the previous financial turmoil of 2007, the discussion brings once again the underlying, and somewhat ever-present, discussion of who makes the decisions regarding economic policies in regional and global scales. The unemployment explosion and the number of businesses folding up have caused governments to sit up and notice, but have they looked far enough to trace the origins of the crisis? What’s the reason for the same economists and institutions that failed to predict the 2007 financial crisis still be in the “driving seat”, prescribing very much similar remedies to economic crisis in spite of criticisms coming from all over, both from inside financial institutions and outside them? There still is no consensus as to the origins of the crisis. To quote Goodhart: There have been many facets to the current financial crisis. It is difficult for a single person to put together a completely coherent story of everything that has happened, unless they have been working for one of the banks at the centre of the storm. Rather like the blind men who feel aspects of the elephant, commentators, like myself, are likely to have a personal view; it may take quite a long time before a comprehensive history of this crisis can be written, and this is not such a complete history. This essay is generally interested in understanding how global governance mechanisms in finance emerge, persist and change. There may be issues of corporate governance (see for instance, Meckling 1976, Lazonick 1992, Lazonick 2000, Lewis 1992, Sullivan 1997, Sullivan 1999) contributory to the crisis, but it is imperative to look at the bigger picture. Specifically, it aims to speculate on why the financial crisis, a situation produced by the inability of markets to regulate themselves and the failure of existing regulating mechanisms (Leyshon and Thrift 1997) is not opening up to long established alternative solutions present in alternative epistemic circles with different paradigms about economy and regulation of markets. The hand-wringing has led to more questions than answers. To quote Jickling (2009): To what extent were long-term developments in financial markets to blame for the instability? …. Was there too much reliance on computer models of market performance? Did those models reflect only the post-WWII period, which may now come to be viewed not as a typical 60-year period, suitable for use as a baseline for financial forecasts, but rather as an unusually favourable period that may not recur? This paper draws upon Claus Offe’s concept of selectivity (Offe 1984) and the structural dependence of International Financial Organisations on the same groups it is supposed to regulate. The following pages are structured as follows: first, the work analyses the emergence and consolidation of financial global governance structures and how these spaces have reached the critical juncture they now face. Alongside with the study of the arenas, the second section provides a narrative of the actors behind the contentious creation of these spaces. The third part of the work addresses the new political opportunity structure that has emerged after the financial crisis, and how previously marginalised actors have tried to take advantage of this window to ... Read More
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