Chapter 8 The risk crisis
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This chapter reveals the complex relationship between the subprime crisis and US risk power. First, it shows that global demand for US mortgage debt developed from a series of portfolio transformations within the IBM, as investors continued to privilege US public and private debt placements due to their perceived risklessness. Far from extraordinary, the pattern of demand sustaining the expansion of subprime debt continued a long historical trend with roots in the Bretton Woods monetary system. Second, the chapter shows that the crisis unfolded out of the institutional legacies and practices that took shape from the specific development of the IBM in the post-WWII period. It emphasizes that the expansion of US subprime debt relied on the very same hub and spoke financial system that emerged through the accumulation of US debt in the 1960’s and 1970s.

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