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Bond, Patrick (2013) Global Economic Volatility and Slap-Dash Repairs to the International Financial Architecture. Presented to the conference The International Financial System and the Global Power Shift Five Years after Lehman Brothers : 1-0.

The expansion of the global economy’s financial sector in the context of relative productive sector
stagnation tendencies can be read as a classical overaccumulation crisis. This chapter considers the
way the leading powerbrokers reacted to the crisis through ‘devalorization’ of large parts of the
Third World alongside the write down of selected financially volatile and vulnerable markets in the
North (e.g., real estate and other derivatives bubbles). In contrast to the 1930s, this set of
partial write-downs of financial capital – kept in check by a system-wide response in late 2008 and
2009 – did not create such generalized panic and crisis contagion as to erode the entire system’s
integrity, although October 2008 was a month in which that threat rose to extreme levels. The
‘shifting and stalling’ of the devalorization of overaccumulated capital meant that most major
Northern financial institutions survived. But they did so through intensified extra-economic
coercion, including gendered and environmental stresses. The result is a world economy that
concentrates wealth and poverty in more extreme ways, geographically, and brings markets and
the non-market spheres of society and nature together in a manner adverse to the latter. Is reform
of the system possible? If so, ideas for revitalized multilateral financial institutions, following
Keynes’ International Clearing Union proposal, are worth revisiting. However, what such ideas
‘from above’ require for consideration are extremely powerful social movements ‘from below’, like
Occupy, which (even fleetingly) change the relationship between civil society, state and financiers.

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