Politics in the Interest of Capital: A Not-So-Organized Combat
Politics and Society
US : SAGE Publications
373 - 391 p.
financial crisis, bailouts, lobbying, organized interests, banking, United States, Europe
In recent debates about inequality, many have pointed to the predominant position of the finance. This article highlights that structural power, not lobbying resources, are key to explaining variations across countries. It examines finance-government negotiations over national bank rescue schemes during the recent financial crisis. Given the structural power of finance, the variation in bank bailouts across countries cannot be explained by lobbying differences. Instead of observing organized interest intermediation, we can see that disorganization was crucial for the financial industry to get off the hook and let the government carry the burden of stabilizing the economy. Put differently, structural power is strongest when finance remains collectively inactive. In contrast to traditional accounts of the lobbying influence of finance, the comparison highlights that the lack of organization can have crucial redistributive consequences.