By Leo Panitch, Martijn Konings
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Additional info for American Empire and the Political Economy of Global Finance
Monetary instruments that had previously seemed exotic now became basic parts of the financial landscape: money market mutual funds, for example, emerged to account for $25 billion in assets by 1979 – and by 1981, they had further quadrupled. The assets of foreign banking offices in the US increased eightfold in the 1970s (matching the growth of the Eurodollar market), while the assets of American banks abroad increased almost seven-fold, and portfolio flows amongst the G7 increased eleven-fold.
But at a deeper level it was the American penetration of the other developed capitalist countries, and the dense institutional linkages that had evolved between them 30 Contours and Sources of Imperial Finance and the US, which determined that inter-state tensions were limited to renegotiating the terms of the imperial relationship, not questioning its essence. Within the third world, instances of attempted withdrawal from Americanled global capitalism were contained (the American defeat in Vietnam had not led to any domino effect) or turned around (the overthrow of Allende being followed by the introduction of neoliberalism under Pinochet), while the recycling of petrodollars further integrated the third world into global financial circuits.
As industrial capital – supported by the state’s accommodative fiscal and monetary policies – raised prices to protect its profits, the resultant inflation devalued financial holdings. Yet financial capital was not passive in this period. Matching the rise of the new left was a new generation of MBAs, ‘bright and ambitious students . . paying more attention to business strategy, product development, marketing, and costs, the stuff of business-school curricula’ (Sylla 2002: 62). e. the shift from depositing money in a bank to buying a tradable financial asset from 28 Contours and Sources of Imperial Finance the bank).