(Bloomberg View) – Three decades ago, a revolution occurred in the world economy. Today, we're living through its extensive political consequences.

This revolution consisted of financialization. Financial services, from banks and hedge funds to trading houses, became the largest industry in the U.S.

Market speculation replaced industrial productivity as the motor of U.S. growth, while mobile capital was steadily liberated from tax and regulatory regimes around the world.

The impact of this revolution has been incalculable. Accompanied by the rapid enrichment of a few and stagnation and disappointment for many more, it's destabilized political life on all continents, empowering, among others, volatile demagogues such as Donald Trump.

Back in the 19th century, another economic revolution, one based on industrial modes of production, also launched a new phase in human history.

Bringing the masses into politics, the industrial revolution turned inequality into an urgent issue and made socialism an appealing idea and imperial expansion a necessity. It speeded up history like nothing had before.

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.