The 2007-08 financial crisis surprised many economists and the public. But how did the crisis come about, why was it so deep, and why has the clean-up been so slow and painful?
Many accounts of the crisis focus on renegade activity in marginal financial sectors. Shadow Networks challenges this pervading view and sets out to demonstrate that, far from a dissident branch, the shadow finance that initiated the crisis is tightly networked with, and highly profitable for, bank-based finance. The collapse was not an accident, but baked into the system of finance from the start. Shadow Networks traces the complex web of power that caused crisis and gives
vivid descriptions of the actors in the quarter century leading up to 2007 to explain how the now decade-long crisis took shape.
Shadow Networks: Financial Disorder and the System that Caused Crisis is a probing examination of the roles of the powerful elite. It traces the networks and institutions that support a finance-focused, market centered model of economy and society from their ascendancy to their surprising resilience in the face of manifest failures.
Francisco Louca is Professor of Economics at ISEG, Lisbon University, Portugal. He is a Member of the State Council, and elected advisory board to the President of Portugal, and of the Consulting Council of the Central Bank of Portugal. He was a member of the Portuguese Parliament from 1999 to 2012, and helped found the Left Bloc party. His books have been translated into eleven languages, and include Turbulence in Economics (Edward Elgar, 1997), As Time Goes By (Oxford University Press, 2011), and The Years of High Econometrics (Routledge, 2007) Michael Ash is Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Co-Director of the Corporate Toxics Information Project of the Political Economy Research Institute. He was previously Princeton Project 55 Fellow at the Trenton Office of Policy Studies, and Staff Labor Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers. Professor Ash's 2013 paper Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? (with Thomas Hernson and Robert Pollin) spurred worldwide reassessment of austerity and won awards from Bloomberg, the Washington Post, and Foreign Policy Magazine, which named the authors among the 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2013.
IntroductionI. The World of Shadow Finance 1: Greed and the Adventures of Homo Economicus 2: Shadows in Times of Crash 3: The Whole Alphabet Soup Appendix A: The Realm of Shadow Finance: How and How Much?II. Who Decides? Deregulation and Deregulators 4: Big Business and Family Business 5: The Liberalizers: Justifying Free-Market Finance 6: Deeds and Doctrines of the Central Bankers Appendix B: Skeptics and Critics vs. True BelieversIII. Plutocracy and Oligarchy 7: Consensus by Schooling and Power: The Indoctrination of the Elites 8: The Revolving DoorIV. The Web of Power 9: The Wild Side of the Street 10: Capital Controls: The Emergency Brakes Appendix C: Can the Institutions Be TrustedV. The World We Live In 11: A Long Stagnation, or Capitalism without Growth? 12: China, A New Global Player 13: The Shadow Society and Its Fictitious Capital