Volume 3, Number 2 (2010)

Finance Capital and Environmental Catastrophe

Richard Peet

Clark University

During the hyper-hot summer of 2010, capitalist society was caught in the awful consequences of two crises: an economic depression, that proved impossible for states or markets to solve; an oil leak, that for months proved impossible to plug. Did the crises coincide through the magic of chance? Or did they stem systematically from the same structural causes?  Both economic depression and environmental catastrophe result from the risks that must “normally” be taken   under finance capitalism. Crises that threaten humanity are structurally endemic to finance capitalism.