The unfolding of a new and deep economic crisis, as well as the response to that crisis by states and central banks, has provoked a renewed discussion about neoliberalism. More rapidly than in 2008, capitalist states worldwide stepped in to respond to the unfolding crisis. The neoliberal mantra that the market must decide was set aside.
States requisitioned supplies of PPE as well as taking over factories, with Trump invoking the Korean War era ‘Defense Production Act’ to speed up ventilator production. The top European Commission trade official, Sabine Weyand, explained their thinking: “We have to recognise that in the heat of a crisis you cannot leave the allocation of scarce resources just to the markets.”
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⏩This article was featured in the Autumn 2020 edition of Rupture. Purchase the latest edition of Rupture.