Against the Grain

The Fall and Rise of U.S. Finance

The banks and financiers are a common target of the left — and often the right — purportedly sucking the lifeblood out of the real industrial economy. Stephen Maher argues that while the financialization of the economy has intensified under neoliberalism, finance has played a central role in the growth of capitalism — and the disciplining of labor — from at least the Gilded Age. He discusses the recent rise of asset management companies Vanguard, State Street, and BlackRock, which have concentrated ownership at a level unprecedented in the history of capitalism.


Scott Aquanno and Stephen Maher, The Fall and Rise of American Finance: From J.P. Morgan to BlackRock Verso, 2024

Photo credit: Lee De Cola


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