January 26, 2019
Reviewed by Joseph Jamison
With his typical wry humor John Kenneth Galbraith, the famed liberal economist once wrote about 1929:
“The military historian when he has finished his chronicle is excused. He is not required to consider the chances of renewal of war with the Indians, the Mexicans, or the Confederacy. Nor will anyone press him to say how such acrimony can be prevented. But economics is taken more seriously. The economic historian as a result is invariably asked whether the misfortunes he describes will afflict us again and how they may be prevented.” A page later, Galbraith predicted: “…the chances for a recurrence of a speculative orgy are rather good.”
A speculative orgy did recur. The orgy ended in the crash of 2008 and its aftermath, the subject matter of the impressive book under review, Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World by economic historian Adam Tooze.
In an August 2018 talk at the London School of Economics, his alma mater, Tooze remarked that the two questions persistently asked of him are: first, did 2008 cause Trumpism and Brexit? and second, can 2008 happen again? His answer to the first question is yes, more or less.
But it is the incomprehension behind the second question that troubles the author of Crashed. Public opinion does not grasp — or perhaps does not remember — the unique nature and vast scale of the 2008 calamity.
The crash of 2008 hit with greater force than the crash of 1929, though its social and economic consequences were less severe, thanks to the bailouts. As evidence, he notes that it took four years after the October 1929 stock market slump to paralyze fully the US banking system. In 2008, in mere days, paralysis set in.
Almost certainly, there will be a normal cyclical downturn within the next two years, he believes.Will there be a repetition of an earth-shaking financial catastrophe on the scale of 2008? He is cautious, mindful that no expert saw 2008 coming in the precise form it did. He sees the main danger coming from emerging markets, above all, China. For example, Brazil is already in crisis, but Brazil is not big enough. On the other hand, China is big enough. And the main banks of the City of London are highly integrated with the Chinese financial system.
A self-described “Left liberal”, Tooze confesses the anxieties underlying his history in this way:
Certainly the tenth anniversary of 2008 is not a comfortable vantage point for a Left-liberal historian whose personal loyalties are divided among England, Germany, the island of Manhattan, and the EU. Things of course, could be worse. A ten-year anniversary of 1929 would have been published in 1939. We are not there, at least not yet. 
Adam Tooze is a British economic historian now a professor at Columbia University in New York. He taught Modern European Economic History at the University of Cambridge and at Yale. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from King’s College, Cambridge in 1989, Tooze studied at the Free University of Berlin before moving to the London School of Economics for a doctorate in economic history. He is best known for his economic study of the Third Reich, The Wages of Destruction.
Liberal publications have reviewed Crashed favorably (The Guardian, UK; The New York Times; The American Prospect, and others). A man of the center-left, Tooze is angered by the injustices inflicted on tens of millions by the bank crash and the subsequent bank bailouts. Regarding the merciless austerity imposed on Greece: “it is a spectacle that ought to inspire outrage.” Similarly he denounces the mass unemployment that resulted in so many countries. In the US mass unemployment, as always, was especially severe among racial minorities.
The book is one of the first full-scale attempts to assemble a coherent economic history of the last ten years. We are still living through the crash of 2008, Tooze argues, though his account is centered on the immediate run-up and aftermath of the singular, gigantic financial crisis that decisively shaped the decade since.
Tooze argues that the aftershocks of autumn 2008 are still being felt. The new realities are rooted in the 2008 crash. The new realities are, for example, the growth in right-wing populism, displacing in so many countries the social democratic parties complicit in imposing austerity; the election of Trump; the split in the US Republican Party (traditional corporate Republicans versus right-wing populist Republicans); growing strains within the US Democrats with the emergence of an explicitly social democratic trend in Bernie Sanders and his supporters to challenge the corporate-friendly Clinton-Obama trend; the Brexit referendum result; the ongoing crisis in the eurocurrency and the European Union itself; growing inequality almost everywhere, and the rise of China. “The financial and economic crisis of 2007-2012 morphed between 2013 and 2017 into a comprehensive political and geopolitical crisis of the post-cold war order.”
There are many theses in this 706-page book, not merely one. Here are some:
The crash of 2008 was a North Atlantic crisis, not merely a US crisis. When pandemonium broke out in full view on Wall Street in September-October 2008 amidst a US presidential election the Bush Administration insisted the problem on Wall Street was manageable and local. Not so, according to Tooze. “The contention of this book ” is that this was a global not a US crisis, “understanding it is essential to understanding the world today.”
The integration of the European banks and the US banks was far greater than anybody saw. “The contention of this book is that the American crisis led to the world crisis.” The EU “sovereign debt” crisis of 2010 (the fact that sovereign EU states such as Greece, Ireland, Portugal, et al. could not pay back their debt to major banks) was directly connected to the seemingly unconnected 2008 collapse of US housing finance based on fraudulent “subprime” mortgages.
The smug EU banking authorities and governments, not expecting the US debacle to reach their shores, floundered in 2010-2012, partly because the EU banking system is not unitary like its US counterpart, partly because the EU’s most powerful member state, Germany, was in the grip of a tradition of fiscal and monetary rectitude dating back to the Weimar Republic’s hyperinflation of the early 1920s. It took two years of growing near-chaos in the smaller EU states and US pressure to make the EU abandon moralizing and half-measures and face up to its own bank meltdown.
Soon, within a year or two, the bailout of the banking system in the US and EU faded from intense media scrutiny. The reason is political: those who had carried out the bank rescues, seeing growing voter backlash, were loathe to dwell on their gross class bias. The corporate media concluded that discreet silence was the wiser course. The political consequences of the “spectacular” rescue were not long in coming.
While the Davos jet setters escaped with barely a scratch, ordinary working people in Europe and America were still suffering, and still remembered the injustice with bitterness. They began to express their bitterness by voting for parties other than the parties of the center-left (In Europe, mostly the various social democrats; in America the Democrats) complicit in the bailout and the austerity, parties to which they previously had given allegiance.
An important thesis in Crashed is the need for caution in speaking of US decline. Tooze concedes, “in the space of only five years [2003-2008] the foreign policy and the economic policy of the United States had suffered humiliating failures” (examples: the Iraq War, the 2008 crash itself, democratic decline in the hapless McCain-Palin Republican presidential bid, and even the dubious legitimacy of the Bush 2000 and 2004 elections). Tooze points out that while there are symptoms of US decline, the erosion of US power is not consistent.
The US Federal Reserve rescue of the world financial system, after initial fumbling and one big miscalculation (the Lehman Brothers collapse) was a spectacular display of strength and decisiveness, and it more or less worked. “The US Federal Reserve engaged in truly spectacular innovation. It established itself as liquidity provider of last resort to the global banking system. It provided dollars to all comers in New York, whether banks were American or not. No other central bank came close in importance or in strength.” This was the most radical new phenomenon of all in 2008 and an unprecedented development.
If the US rescue effort was “spectacular”, China’s was even more so. “China’s response to the crisis it imported from the West was of world historical proportions, dramatically accelerating the shift in the global balance of economic activity toward East Asia.”
After 2008 the International Monetary Fund (IMF) acquired a new, broader role. It had helped to save European banks, one of the three main centers of the capitalist system. No longer was the IMF in its normal post-1945 role of imposing austerity and economic misery on debt-laden Third World countries in hock to Western banks.
An early chapter is entitled The “Wrong Crisis.” It is not as if US top economists, politically active bankers and think tanks (such as Robert Rubin, Peter Orszag, Larry Summers, The Hamilton Project, all of which influenced Barack Obama) did not anticipate any trouble. They anticipated the wrong trouble. They expected problems to arise out of the interaction of “the two deficits”, the US federal budget deficit and the US balance of trade deficit, not a collapse of the housing finance system.
Though he is courteous to professional colleagues, Tooze obviously has an economic historian’s less than overwhelming admiration for the explanatory power of conventional economic theory. The candor is refreshing. It is hard for anyone to discern the messy reality visible on the business pages in the bloodless abstractions of economic theory as taught in US and UK universities.
Tooze is also critical of conventional economic statistics. The 2008 crisis was there to behold in the balance sheets of giant private banks, if any regulator had been looking. The asset side of their ledgers was full of “subprime” assets, worthless or near-worthless mortgage-backed securities. Only, no bank regulator was looking at them. Moreover, the rating agencies, under the pressure of their megabank paymasters, were defrauding the public about asset quality.
Expressing hope for better regulation in the future, Tooze claims that nowadays international agencies such as the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the central bankers’ central bank, assess the riskiness of the 20 or 30 megabanks. Some BIS economists are beginning to track the right data sets, but inevitably data collection lags behind reality. He believes national economic statistical systems, such as those traditionally relied on by Keynesian economists, are of less and less use. They do not reflect in real time what is going on in the major banks, where the 2008 crisis matured. They don’t permit policy makers to anticipate crises in a timely way.
Irony, Gloom, Fear, Worries
Crashed is impressed by the irony that the spectacular rescue came after — and contradicted — the 40 years of growing neoliberal orthodoxy of less government, deregulation, lower taxes on corporations and the wealthy, undoing much of what remained of the New Deal reforms (e.g., repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which stabilized Wall Street by separating commercial banking from investment banking). Some of the very individuals who were cheerleaders for the dismantling of New Deal reforms in the 1980s and 1990s were at the center of the bank bailouts of 2008.
The instability of the financial system gnaws at Tooze. He worries that it was chance — sheer chance — that enabled the financial system to survive in 2008. The effects of the crash might have been far worse than in 1929. It was a close call.
In September-October 2008, only a hastily improvised alliance among elite Republicans (Bernanke, Paulson, Geithner, all appointees of the Bush Administration) and top Congressional Democrats saved the system. In Tooze’s view most Republicans in Congress, wearing ideological blinders, failed utterly to realize the threat to the system, even when Bernanke, Paulson and Geithner were making dark utterances to Congress such as, “the ATMs will stop functioning by Friday” or “we may not have an economy on Monday.”
Recent political trends reinforce Tooze’s gloom. Only a concerted effort by the world’s main central bankers pulled off the miraculous rescue. With the appearance of Trump and spread of Trump-like governments and movements — pushing their assertive nationalism and their contempt for multilateral solutions — there is a “perilous situation created by Trump’s declaration of independence from an interconnected and multipolar world.”
Tooze deplores the fact that that the bailouts were “unspeakable” for democratic politics. More than six trillion dollars went to 20 or 30 megabanks, while, to pay for the crisis, tens of millions of working people suffered. Top EU politicians such as Jean-Claude Juncker openly called for elections to be suspended, so that the popular will could not block austerity measures desired by bankers. Tooze writes: “Though it is hardly a secret that we inhabit a world dominated by big business oligopolies, during the crisis and its aftermath this reality and its implications for the priorities of government stood nakedly exposed. It is an unpalatable truth that democratic politics on both sides of the Atlantic has choked on.”
The book’s Introduction calls 2008 the “first crisis of a global age” as it played out in an increasingly interlocked financial world. A shortcoming in Crashed is that the oft-used words “globalization” and “globalism” remain undefined, as with so much mainstream economic writing and regrettably, some Left economic writing too.
In 1991 the planet earth did not become more spherical. Is “globalization” something objective, the internationalization of production made possible by technical improvements in communications, and impelled by the transnational corporations search for low wages and superprofits outside the developed countries? Is it the ever-deeper integration of the banking system — allowed by an Internet that can move billions of dollars or yuan or euros in a nanosecond — across continents and oceans? Is it the expansion of world trade? Is it a political term, a synonym for US unipolar domination from about 1991 to 2008? Is it multilateralism in international economic relations, now assailed by Trump? Is it a description of the triumphant mood of the era’s winners, reflecting capitalism’s sense of expanded reach after the downfall of socialism in Eastern Europe and the USSR (i.e., no more a world of “two rival systems,” now “a global world”) Is it all of the above? Readers are compelled to wrest the exact meaning from the context.
The book is organized into four major section of roughly equal length: The Gathering Storm; The Global Crisis; The Eurozone; The Aftershocks.
In the Aftershocks section, Tooze contends the 2008 crash is ongoing, “mutating and metastasizing”. For example, how many except for China specialists are aware of the Yuan Panic of 2015? After 2008, though its supercharged growth rate declined a few percentage points, China remained largely the sole sustaining force for high growth in the world economy. But in 2015, suddenly, Chinese stock markets started to slide. Money was exiting China at a rate of hundreds of billions of dollars per month in search of a safe haven. The yuan started to decline. The authorities in Beijing, after initial fumbling, swung into action. They stabilized a new value for the yuan. Capital controls were imposed. A massive fiscal stimulus was launched. These measures and others prevented a third major drama of the decade. The first had been the US housing finance collapse; the second was the EU sovereign debt crisis.
Tooze’s prose style is anything but boring. The narrative is gracefully written, often with drama and suspense. The material lends itself to drama and suspense. Hundreds of pages of Crashed detail the frenzied phone calls between central bankers in Washington, New York, Brussels, London and other capitals, above all, in the crucial September-October 2008 months, as Paulson, Bernanke and Geithner came to grips with the scale of the meltdown. The most dramatic moments came when they had to bully, or cajole, or beg the governments and legislators to take rescue measures big enough and decisive enough to stem the hemorrhaging.
Crashed is not much more difficult to read than the Wall Street Journal or the Business Section of the New York Times. Tooze writes like a journalist. Some readers may need to refresh their memories about what a “haircut” is, a popular metaphor of the era. The size of a “haircut,” a discount applied to a financial asset by the market, be it 10 percent, or 30 percent, or 50 percent, is a reflection of the market’s view of its riskiness. The narrative of the daily crisis meetings in the center of the storm is based on the author’s exhaustive reading of the business journalism of the period. He has backed up that reading with interviews with such key players as Timothy Geithner, Mario Monti, former Italian prime minister, and Mervyn King, head of the British central bank.
Reading Crashed does not require much economic history background. But one must read carefully. From time to time Tooze slips in, with little fanfare, essential ideas that are key to his historical framework. For example he sets out in one important paragraph a whole pre-history of 2008, including an interpretation of the rise of neoliberalism:
Under the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1944 the dollar, as the anchor of the global monetary system, was tied to gold. This was itself, of course, no more than a convention. When it became too hard for the United States to live with it — upholding it would have required deflation — on August, 15,1971 President Nixon abandoned it. This was a historic caesura. For the first time since the advent of money no currency anywhere in the world operated on a metallic standard. Potentially this freed monetary policy, regulating the creation of money and credit, as never before. But how much freedom would policy makers actually have after throwing off the “golden fetters”? The social and economic forces that had made the gold peg unsustainable even for the United States were powerful — at home the struggle for income shares in an increasingly affluent society, abroad the liberalization of offshore dollar trading in London in the 1960s. When those forces were unleashed in the 1970s without a monetary anchor, the result was to send inflation soaring to 20 percent in the advanced economies, something unprecedented in peacetime. But rather than retreating from liberalization, by the early 1980s any restriction on global capital flows was lifted. It was precisely to tame the forces of indiscipline unleashed by the end of metallic money that the new market revolution and the neoliberal logic of discipline were inaugurated. By the mid-1980s Fed chair Paul Volcker’s dramatic campaign to raise interest rates had curbed inflation. The only prices going up in the age of the great moderation were those for shares and real estate. When that bubble burst in 2008, when the word faced not inflation but deflation, the key central banks threw off their self-imposed shackles. They would do whatever it took to prevent a collapse of credit. They would do whatever it took to keep the financial system afloat. And because the modern banking system is both global and based on dollars, that meant unprecedented transnational action by the American state.
In the middle chapters in lively prose Tooze deftly recounts the sequence of interconnected crises. Much mainstream economic writing prefers description to the espousal of any clear causal theory. It focuses only on the policy mistakes that led to the current crisis, avoiding any discussion of causation by deeper factors. Though, to be fair, Tooze is better than most mainstream economic writers, often enough he too does not stray beyond description.
Liberal economists, such as Tooze, for example, dwell on the counterproductive nature of the policies advocated by the tax-cutting conservatives, as well as their hypocrisy, short-sightedness, inconsistency, or unfairness. This is tantamount to an implicit theory of the economic cycle — recessions are result of policy mistakes. Tooze sees the 2008 calamity as a failure of regulation, stemming from policy mistakes, rather than inevitable and systemic.
State-Monopoly Capitalism (SMC)
Readers familiar with Marxist political economy will know that, in Crashed, what Adam Tooze is describing is the workings of state-monopoly capitalism.
The present stage of capitalism is monopoly capitalism whose central feature is the dominance of giant banks and corporations. Bank capital and industrial capital have fused to create a financial oligarchy, or in the vernacular, modern Wall Street. After the crash of 1907 it became evident that big private bankers such as J.P. Morgan could no longer manage the heightened instability. The demand for a central bank arose in monopoly circles. At its birth in 1913 the Federal Reserve System, a US central bank, became one of the first institutions of state monopoly capitalism in the US.
Around the beginning of the twentieth century, as competitive capitalism gave way to monopoly capitalism, the capitalist system became ever more unstable and ever more dependent on the state to maintain stability. There is a substantial body of Marxist theory on state monopoly capitalism developed by Lenin, Eugene Varga and other Soviet writers, as well as scholars from the former German Democratic Republic, French Communist economists, and others.
In 2008, the instruments of the US state were its central bank, the Federal Reserve Bank; the Treasury Department; and the International Monetary Fund, controlled by the US Treasury Department. Together they moved heaven and earth to resuscitate a capitalist banking system in cardiac arrest.
In a brilliant new book, State Monopoly Capitalism three German Marxist scholars review the concept of state monopoly capitalism, the origins and history of the theory, and its present applicability. The three authors write,
Since the beginning of the worldwide financial crisis of 2007-2008 and the state rescue, worth billions, of the bankrupt major banks, the criticism of capitalism has again become stronger. In addition, the concept of state monopoly capitalism, SMC, is again arising to characterize the current social system since in all leading capitalist countries the state is intervening directly in the economy in order to overcome the crisis.
In the 20th century SMC developed in stages under the pressure of war, depression and other forms of instability and crisis. In the First World War, for the first time, state monopoly regulation of the economy became nearly all-embracing. In the 1920s, in the US state monopoly regulation retreated somewhat, because finance capital thought it could do with less regulation, the emergency of world war having passed. Moreover, the financial oligarchy always disliked the higher taxes entailed by the growth of an expanded state apparatus. It also was wary of the possibility that popular forces could use the state for their own purposes. That happened in the Great Depression (1929-39). State monopoly regulation resumed its growth. The New Deal reforms were an expression of state monopoly regulation.
But unlike in earlier eras, when the class content of SMC was almost wholly pro-monopoly, much New Deal state monopoly regulation (Social Security, unemployment insurance, public works, etc.) was at least partly in the interests of the people, won by popular struggle. Keynesianism (The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, appearing in 1936) is a theoretical reflection in bourgeois economics of the transition to permanent state monopoly regulation. In the Second World War and after, state monopoly regulation became a lasting reality. In the US it took the form of a permanent war economy.
“The Shape of Things to Come”
In his last chapter “The Shape of Things to Come,” Tooze reflects on the centenary of the First World War 1914-1918. In 2014 historians reflected on that primal trauma of the 20th century. The Great War swept away a seemingly stable world order after a long period of peaceful development. In a similar vein, with respect to 2008, Tooze muses in an important closing peroration:
How does a great moderation end? How do huge risks build up that are little understood and barely controllable? How do great tectonic shifts in the global order unload in sudden earthquakes? How do the ‘railway timetables’ of giant technical systems combine to create disaster? How do anachronistic and out-of-date frames of reference make it impossible for us to understand what is happening around us? Did we sleepwalk into crisis or were there dark forces pushing? What is the basis for the ensuing human-induced, man-made disasters? Is the uneven and combined development of global capitalism the driver of all instability? How do the passions of popular politics shape elite decision-making? How do politicians exploit those passions? Is there any route to international and domestic order? Can we achieve perpetual stability and peace? Does law offer the answer? Or must we rely on the balance of terror and the judgment of technicians and generals?
There is an undertone of despair in these eloquently phrased but ultimately unsatisfactory questions. One Tooze metaphor is especially misleading. A financial crash is a political-economic upheaval, not a geological event (i.e., not “a great tectonic shift”) about which humankind can do nothing. Humankind can do plenty to prevent another 2008.
There is ample evidence, even in Crashed, that the financial system is growing more unstable over time, as its contradictions multiply, including its new political contradictions. It is unrealistic to hope, as Tooze does, that improvement in the tracking of megabanks by international agencies will lead to better regulation that somehow can forestall a repetition of 2008.
Suppose more or less competent regulators such as Bernanke, Paulson and Geithner were in key positions for the “next 2008”, willing to mobilize all the power of the US state to save the world’s giant banks. A second spectacular bailout is an ever more remote possibility as right-wing populism’s contempt for regulation and multilateralism grows. Miracles seldom occur twice. He worries “with Trump as president and the Republicans dominating Congress, it is an open question whether the American political system will support even basic institutions of globalization let alone any adventurous crisis-fighting at a national or global level.”
It would be unfair to reproach an author for not having written a book with a theoretical framework more to the liking of the reviewer. It is fair, however, to point out what is lost in the analysis by ignoring Marxist political economy.
Was the big policy mistake leading up to the implosion of 2008 merely the 40 years of reckless deregulation that preceded it? That would seem to be the diagnosis of Crashed.
Reformist writers assign inordinate importance to policy mistakes, which they presumably believe can be corrected. Crashed overestimates the possibility of reform and re-regulation, and underestimates the systemic nature of the crisis. Tooze is an economic historian whose outlook evidently does not transcend capitalism, although there are many hints in his terminology that, like most economic historians, even bourgeois ones, he is familiar with the Marxist account of capitalism.
In 2008, the herculean state-monopoly economic rescues worked – for the banks. Marxist political economy, more realistic than liberal reformism, holds that state monopoly regulation can patch up but cannot end capitalism’s various crises. Economic policy can, at best, affect the timing and depth and duration of a crisis. There is no economic policy capable of fully relieving the capitalist system of its inherent, growing irrationality.
It is puzzling that the author of Crashed, who knows much about nationalization leaves out nationalization, the obvious partial remedy to another financial apocalypse. In John Kenneth Galbraith’s day, an economic historian was asked “whether the misfortunes he describes will afflict us again and how they may be prevented.” Crashed ignores the last question. Why is Crashed is so timid?
Will 2008 happen again? History suggests it will. Galbraith was prophetic. As in 1929, in 2008 a speculative orgy was followed by meltdown. Unless the casino capitalism of our day is somehow transformed by radical or even revolutionary political action, a crash will happen — again.
Crashed shrinks from advocating the obvious democratic solution, the permanent nationalization of the giant banks, with as much public accountability as possible. Such a measure would be enormously popular. Everyone hates the giant banks, even other bankers. Let us call such a radical reform “democratic nationalization”.
There are many kinds of nationalization. Its character can range from conservative to revolutionary and everything in between. For example, which sector of monopoly is nationalized (finance? industry? profitable or unprofitable?) How radically is monopoly power curbed, (is monopoly merely inconvenienced? is it wiped out?) Truly radical nationalization of strategic sectors can cause a class showdown to loom. Under certain conditions, the grip of the monopoly capitalist class on state power can begin to loosen. The most advanced solution, of course, is revolutionary nationalization when the class character of the state also changes, as banks are brought into the state sector as part of a comprehensive revolutionary upheaval, in other words, in a socialist revolution.
Crashed, for all its scholarly detail and literary merit, leaves us with no remedy at all, merely hand-wringing, rhetorical questions and unrealistic hopes. Why? Even liberal reformists such as Tooze can advocate public ownership.
Nevertheless, despite its baffling silence about solutions, Crashed is a rich analysis of the crucial moment in recent economic history. It is an important book, smartly written, well researched, and thoroughly indexed and footnoted.
Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World by Adam Tooze (Viking, 706 pp., $35.00, 2018. ISBN 9780670024933)
 The Great Crash, 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith (NY, Houghton Mifflin, 1961) 193,194.
 Crashed, 21.
 He started work on the book believing the 2008 crisis was over. He abandoned that view. It has “mutated and metastasized.”
 Ibid., 20.
 “…in the event of a financial crisis that threatened systemic interests, it turned out that we lived in an age not of limited but of big government, of massive executive action, of interventionism that had more in common with military operations or emergency medicine than with law-bound governance.” Ibid., 10.
 Ibid., 11.
 State Monopoly Capitalism by Gretchen Binus, Beate Landefeld, and Andreas Wehr, 88 pages, Manifesto Press. 2017 Introduction by Jonathan White. Translation by Martin Levy. <www.manifestopress.org.uk> There is an excellent review-appreciation of the book by Greg Godels <<The Welcome Return of the Theory of State Monopoly Capitalism>> MLToday.com July 20, 2018.
 The Obama inner circle knew that Sweden’s bank nationalization of the 1990s had worked well. President Obama and especially Timothy Geithner and Rahm Emmanuel refused to contemplate it. Yet key conservatives such as central bankers Alan Greenspan and Paul Volcker, economists Larry Summers, and Christine Romer, and US Senator Lindsey Graham were willing to contemplate pro-capitalist emergency nationalization. Crashed, 293-298.
 <https://www.blackagendareport.com/nationalizing-banks-popular-demand-so-lets-demand-it> Obama said to CEOs, “My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks.” Ibid., 296.