chapter  8
22 Pages

A Financial Social Structure of Accumulation?

This chapter studies the second aspect of the US System of Power and Accumulation: the financial system.1 It examines the question of whether the current US economy has developed a viable financial social structure of accumulation (FSSA) (or “structural form”) to contribute to long wave upswing, or whether, on the other hand, the financial system contributes to the emergence of periodic deep recession and financial instability through long wave downswing. Or is the “truth” somewhere in between: financial structures and dynamics are only partly evolved so as to enhance long-range growth or reduce financial instability. We concentrate (but expand somewhat) on Martin Wolfson’s (1994a) notion that a new (financial) SSA requires a sustainable level of (a) stability, (b) conflict resolution, and (c) profitability.2 These three factors are critical to the potential FSSA through the circuit of money capital.