Rethinking Capitalism (ReCap) Webinar Series

American Capitalism in the Age of Chaos

by Jonathan Levy (University of Chicago)

Event Summary

This talk draws from Ages of American Capitalism: A History of the United States (Random House: 2021), a history of the American economy from the British colonization of North America in the seventeenth century through the Great Recession. It focuses upon the last, post-1980 “Age of Chaos.” It is widely known that capitalism transformed after the industrial crisis decade of the 1970s. How should these changes be characterized, why did they come about, and with what consequences for the U.S. and global economy alike? The talk focuses upon the creation of a post-1980 political economy of “asset price appreciation” in the U.S. and concludes by speculating whether capitalism may be at another turning point today.