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The rise and rise of the corporation

The era of "privatised Keynsianism" is over—and many of the big corporations that drove it are discredited. But in Britain, at least, those corporations will emerge even stronger, there is no other source of economic power

By Colin Crouch   May 2009

Most people thought that the economic policy regime that succeeded Keynesianism in the late 1970s—usually called neoliberalism—was an attempt to get as close to the free market ideal imagined by neo-classical economics as possible. We now know that it wasn’t that; a part of what passed for a market system was in fact irresponsible risk trading that embodied important corruptions of the neoclassical model.

Nevertheless, the system of mortgage, credit card and other debt, backed up by secondary and derivatives markets, did also have a positive function. It enabled many people on low incomes, particularly in the US, to continue…

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