Paul Mason, the economics editor of BBC Newsnight, has written a powerful study of the crash. He surveys the financial meltdown, the decade that led to the disaster, and the life and death of neo-liberalism.
Gordon Brown told us in June 2007 that deregulating Britain's banks would be `the beginning of a new golden age'. The bankers lied that they took high risks so they deserved their high rewards. But they took the profits from industrial production and put them into finance, not back into industry: "the end result is that profits are funnelled from ordinary savers into the pockets of the rich."
The bankers created the credit bubbles in dotcom, housing and commodities. Speculators bought technologies, houses, oil, rice, wheat and soya, until all the bubbles burst, laying waste those parts of the real economy.
After the financial crisis, the governments bought the banks' debts as dearly as possible, so as not to penalise them, running up huge debts and printing money, to save the banks, whatever the cost to the economy. There are $10 trillions' worth of toxic loans, only $1 trillion of which has been written off so far.
The world's workforce has doubled since 1979 to three billion. This huge supply of labour has tilted the balance of power from labour towards capital. So now we need to fight smarter for higher wages, and for a different economy.
To do so, workers will have to reject what Mason calls the `low-level, non-ideological, anti-political culture' of the anti-globalisation movement. He points out, "In the same month that half a million American workers would lose their jobs, the main focus of the Non-Governmental Organisations leaflets was `Don't forget aid to Africa'." We should reject the NGOs' slogan `Think globally, act locally'. We have to act in our nation-states, in our national unions.
Mason observes, "Capitalism's tendency has been to expand the power of the market: to push for the maximum freedom for market forces and the destruction of all ties - family, clan, nation and class - not based on free exchange." So we have to save our nation and our class from destruction by the capitalist class.