The Fall and Rise of American Finance

Author(s): Stephen Maher, Scott Aquanno
Publication Number: ECES-SB286
Issued in: 2024

How Wall Street concocted a more volatile and dangerous capitalism

The Fall and Rise of American Finance traces the collapse and reconstitution of American financial power from the disintegration of robber baron J. P. Morgan’s vast empire to the rise of finance behemoth BlackRock. Contrary to what is taken for common sense by figures from Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders, Maher and Aquanno insist that financialization did not imply the hollowing out of the “real” economy or the retreat of the state. Rather, it served to intensify competitive discipline to maximize efficiency, profits, and the exploitation of labor—with the support of an increasingly authoritarian state.