A readable polemic
on the growing dominance of the finance industry over the UK economy,
and what the left can do to challenge it.
The last time there
had been run a on a British bank was 1886, when Overend, Gurney and
Company folded after their appeals to the Bank of England for support
fell on deaf ears. Then, in 2008, on the brink of collapse after
lending too much money to mortgage-hungry customers, Northern Rock
was saved in the largest bank bail-out in history. But why, over one
hundred years later, did the Bank of England change tack and
The answer is that,
in the years between 1886 and 2008, the UK economy had transformed,
and was now more reliant on banks than ever before -- without them,
almost every area of economic activity would have ground to a halt.
This signifies a fundamental change in the UK's economic model, and
this fundamental change has a name: financialization.
Stolen tells the
story of how and why this financialization occurred, what it means
for our society and politics, and what the left can do to fight it.
At present, the odds are stacked against labour and in favour of
finance capital. But what follows it will be determined by which
group -- the many or the few -- manages to take power in this moment
of crisis. How we understand this moment, and what we do with it,
will determine the course of the future.