The financial logic of neo-liberal capitalism has devoured the world and exhausted itself in the process. A new model beyond “financialisation” is needed, says Saskia Sassen.
The evidence is in: we don’t have the resources to save this system – even if we wanted to. It has become too big to save: the value of global financial assets is several times the size of global gross national product (GDP). The real challenge is not to save this system but to definancialise our economies, as a prelude to move beyond the current model of capitalism. Why should the value of financial assets stay at almost four times the overall GDP of the European Union, and even more of the United States. What do everyday citizens – or the planet – gain from such excess?
The question answers itself. To explore further the inner workings of the financial system that has brought the world to this predicament is also to glimpse a future beyond financialisation. The task the G20 should actually address is not to save this financial system but to begin to definancialise the major economies to a significant degree, so that the world can begin to move towards the creation of a “real” economy that delivers security, stability, and sustainability. There is much work to do.