The Political Economy of the Special Relationship

November 3, 2020
The Political Economy of the Special Relationship

How America's global financial power was created and shapedthrough its special relationship with BritainThe rise of global finance in the latter half of the twentiethcentury has long been understood as one chapter in a larger storyabout the postwar growth of the United States. The PoliticalEconomy of the Special Relationship challenges this popularnarrative. Revealing the Anglo-American origins of financialglobalization, Jeremy Green sheds new light on Britain's hugelysignificant, but often overlooked, role in remaking internationalcapitalism alongside America.Drawing from new archival research, Green questions theconventional view of international economic history as a series ofcyclical transitions among hegemonic powers. Instead, he exploresthe longstanding interactive role of private and public financialinstitutions in Britain and the United States—most notably theclose links between their financial markets, central banks, andmonetary and fiscal policies. He shows that America's unparalleledpost-WWII financial power was facilitated, and in important waysconstrained, by British capitalism, as the United States often hadto work with and through British politicians, officials, andbankers to achieve its vision of a liberal economic order.Transatlantic integration and competition spurred the rise of thefinancial sector, an increased reliance on debt, a global easing ofregulation, the ascendance of monetarism, and the transition toneoliberalism.From the gold standard to the recent global financial crisis andbeyond, The Political Economy of the Special Relationshiprecasts the history of global finance through the prism ofAnglo-American development.