The 2008 financial crisis has severely shaken confidence in liberal economic theory and policy. However, the sharply divergent experiences of the six Anglo-Saxon ‘liberal market economies’ (LMEs) suggest that the reality is not so simple. This book traces the evolution of liberal capitalism, from its rebirth amidst the challenges of the 1970s to its role in the genesis of the 2008 crisis – and debates the assumptions underpinning the liberal capitalist paradigm.

Close examination reveals variety within liberal capitalism. Not only was there the familiar, "hands off" libertarian approach adopted by the US, UK and Ireland, but more bounded, better regulated and apparently more stable varieties of economic liberalism also emerged, through the more pragmatic approach taken by Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The evidence is compelling. Whereas the American, British and Irish financial systems were severely damaged by the crisis, those of Canada, Australia and New Zealand proved more robust. This volume explores the degree to which these divergent experiences were a result of better and more intensive supervision, differences in business or political culture, broader commitment to social norms, and the pace of liberalisation.

Detailed comparative case studies reveal fundamental differences in the economic and political environments in which economic liberalisation took place, in approaches to finance and in the degree to which it was seen to be an engine for growth. The book concludes that this had a major influence on the evolving economic and financial systems, and consequently, their relative resilience when confronted with the challenges of the 2008 crisis.

chapter 1|31 pages

The 'not so global' crisis

BySuzanne J. Konzelmann, Marc Fovargue-Davies, Olivier Butzbach

chapter 2|25 pages

The return of 'financialized' liberal capitalism

BySuzanne J. Konzelmann, Marc Fovargue-Davies, Frank Wilkinson

chapter 3|23 pages

The United States

'With freedom and liberty for all'
BySaule Omarova, Cynthia Williams, Lissa Lamkin Broome, John Conley

chapter 4|27 pages

The United Kingdom

Thatcherism — 'a heavy hand and a light touch'
BySuzanne J. Konzelmann, Marc Fovargue-Davies, Frank Wilkinson

chapter 5|27 pages


Crisis in the Irish banking system
ByBlanaid Clarke, Niamh Hardiman

chapter 6|21 pages

New Zealand

Staying in the black
ByJames Lockhart

chapter 7|31 pages


'Bank bashing' is a popular sport
ByPoonam Puri

chapter 8|7 pages


Economic liberalization and financialization — an introduction
BySuzanne J. Konzelmann, Marc Fovargue-Davies

chapter 9|30 pages

Australia versus the US and UK

The kangaroo economy
BySteve Keen

chapter 10|27 pages

Institutional foundations of the Anglo-Saxon banking systems

Some are more liberal than others
ByOlivier Butzbach, Suzanne J. Konzelmann, Marc Fovargue-Davies

chapter 11|19 pages

The 'ordoliberal' variety of neo-liberalism

ByGerhard Schnyder, Mathias Siems

chapter 12|16 pages


BySuzanne J. Konzelmann, Marc Fovargue-Davies