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The financial crisis needs to be analysed in a broader context than banking itself, or even the financial system as a whole. Finance has been dominating the British economy throughout the period of neoliberalism inaugurated by Thatcherism and this has had widespread effects on economy, culture and society – shown not least in its ability to turn its own crisis into a crisis for the public sector. Finance has squeezed out other sectors and contributed to the North South divide by concentrating wealth in the City; it has also contributed to inequality and to deeply embedding many aspects of people's lives in its systems, through debt, mortgages and private pensions. The current Coalition government is continuing to prioritise finance. There are resources for resisting and these need to join together to challenge neoliberal hegemony.
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