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This paper considers the character and social content of banking in contemporary capitalism. Based on a survey of the operations of nine leading international banks, it documents the marked differences between contemporary banking and the traditional business of taking, making loans to enterprises, and making profits from the difference in interest rates between them. Notably, the operations of the world's top banking organisations are shown to centre on various forms of credit to individual wage earners and on mediating access to financial markets by corporations and, increasingly, individuals.
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