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The 2008 global financial crisis was the consequence of the process of financialization, or the creation of massive fictitious financial wealth, that began in the 1980s; and the hegemony of a reactionary ideology - namely, neoliberalism - based on self-regulated and efficient markets. Although laissez-faire capitalism is intrinsically unstable, the lessons of the 1929 stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression of the 1930s were transformed into theories and institutions or regulations that led to the "30 glorious years of capitalism" (1948-77) and that could have helped avoid a financial crisis as profound as the present one.
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