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Contemporary finance: a left-wing overview

What makes it a left-wing overview?

Partly because it invokes the names of theorists like Marx and Hilferding, and seeks to update classical Marxist analysis of the role of banking and finance. But mainly because it states that the role of banks towards ordinary individuals is an exploitative and extractive one. The argument -- made by others also -- is that finance has become the central pillar of modern Western capitalism. Marx mainly considered industrial capitalism, because that was what was central in his day. But by the turn of the 20th century, the ascendancy of finance capital was clear, and people like Kautsky and Hilferding started to theorise on this basis.