By Leo Panitch, Martijn Konings
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Additional info for American Empire and the Political Economy of Global Finance
In this type of new imperial order, moreover, capital controls based on the distinction hesitatingly drawn at Bretton Woods between ‘productive’ and ‘speculative’ financial flows increasingly broke down. Not only the unregulated Eurodollar market but also the intra-firm transfers that characterize so much foreign direct investment lay at the root of the eventual abandonment of capital controls in the 1970s. Perhaps most important, the form that capitalist integration had by now taken affected the social formations of all advanced capitalist states, so that, even while economic competition among the advanced capitalist states returned, any revival of inter-imperial rivalry was foreclosed.
Section 4 examines not only the crises and contradictions but also the synergies involved in the relationship between finance, production and American empire today. It makes three central points. First, the expansion of finance has not been something apart from, but rather integral to the deepening of accumulation, as seen in both the continued internationalization of production networks and – as part and parcel of this – the continuing Finance and American Empire 19 strength of the American economy.
Vastly extending the basis for comparing the performance of assets not only across space and time but also across the various dimensions of risk themselves (see Tickell 1999: 249–51). All this has become central to the dynamics of competition and accumulation in global capitalism. No less important was the imperial basis of this financialization, above all the full international acceptance, a decade after the dollar was freed from gold, of the dollar’s continuing role as the fulcrum of the international financial system.