Credit and Neoliberalism: How elites replaced wages with debt to sustain British capitalism.
Matthew Sparkes, Doctoral Researcher – University of York.
In 2008 the financial system in Britain and other parts of the world reached crisis point. This was on the back of nearly three decades of continuously expanding credit. In 1980, the total yearly amount of consumer credit lending in Britain totalled £25 billion; by 2006, at the height of the credit boom, it had reached £562 billion a year – representing a 22 fold increase in the availability and use of credit in just a 26-year-period. Even though total yearly lending has declined from 2007, and remains below the levels of 2006, credit still persists as a major part of how the British economy functions.
So why did credit flourish? This lecture will outline the policy changes that led to the expansion of credit from the 1980s onwards and present the political and economic reasons driving this expansion, in order to show that credit became utilised by a group of elites to reinvigorate a competitive capitalism that allowed profits to flourish once again.
[Matthew was awarded an ESRC 1+3 studentship to complete an MA and PhD at York University. His master’s thesis, analysed financial inequality. It was a quantitative study and the analysis was developed from the BBC’s Great British Class Survey (GBCS) dataset.]
On Wednesday, 9 April 2014 from 15:00 to 16:30 (BST)
In Leeds Met University’s Broadcasting Place (Room A301), Woodhouse Lane, Leeds
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