This chapter examines how networked financialization exacerbated capitalism's crisis tendencies. Financialization, a formative aspect of the rise of digital capitalism in response to the crisis of the 1970s, evolved out of multiple impulses. One spur came as millions of workers who experienced wage repression were brought to depend on debt for immediate consumption as well as for housing and automobiles, education, and medical care. Another came from the fact that finance grew ever larger in the strategies of transnational manufacturers, retail chains, agribusinesses, and service suppliers. The chapter also discusses the impact of information and communications technology (ICT) on financialization as well as the role of networks in the emergence of a high-tech financial system. It concludes by looking at three major trends, including the possibility that the financial crisis was unlikely to end without a profoundly conflicted restructuring of the global political economy.
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