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The second stage of the global capitalist crisis
By Nick Beams
12 April 2010
[article synthesized by Jodi Dean @ I cite]
Financialisation grew rapidly in the advanced capitalist economies. In other words, profits accrued increasingly through financial channels rather than through trade and commodity production. In the US, the share of finance in total corporate profits went from less than 10 percent in 1980 to around 40 percent in 2007.
A recent survey of 10 major capitalist countries, including the US and the UK, conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute, found that since 2000, gross debt in these countries increased by around $40 trillion, a rise of 60 percent. Total debt ratios—private and government—increased on average from around 200 percent of gross domestic product in 1990 to more than 330 percent by 2008. In the UK over the same period, the debt ratio increased from 200 percent to 450 percent. Much of the debt was incurred, not to finance industrial production, but to finance financial operations.
The rise in debt fuelled the growth of financialisation and claims of a new golden age.