Although the editorial project originated with the September 2001 attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, Ola Financiera was born and published its first issue in September 2008, a few days after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. It has been fifteen years since that Monday, September 15, when the world woke up to the news that the authorities had failed to reach agreements for a bailout or orderly sale for the bank, as was the case with Bear Stearns almost half a year earlier. From that point on, there was a cascade of bailouts in the United States (US): from the largest car companies; semi-public mortgage banking; and the multiple Wall Street markets with various facilities for obtaining collateral of last resort, and several financial asset purchase programs backed by the lender of last resort.
To speak of Lehman Brothers is to speak of the responses of the authorities. To not rescue the system with the failure of one of its pieces would have surely implied greater economic contraction in the short term. But without a bailout, or with one under different terms, our present situation would also be different. Because the US is the world's largest economy and holds the Dollar Standard, the bailout has touched almost every element of the international economic system with major implications. Thus, the decision to bail out Wall Street at all costs marked a historic turning point within the US, both in its politics and in its financial markets. Its ramifications have also marked a watershed in the international economy and the balance of world peace.
None of the results within the country can legitimately be considered positive. The design of the bailout has ensured the nation's growing polarization. In launching quantitative easing policies under the broad perspective of balanced budgets, the state's largesse to Wall Street must be balanced by the punishment that austerity imposes on the rest of its inhabitants. Not only has monetary policy come to dominate fiscal policy, but the political and legal system has also changed. After the fall of Lehman, to the doctrine of "too big to fail", the precedent of "too big to prosecute" was also added. Moreover, today both dominant political parties are the war and Wall Street parties. While many budget expenditures are bitterly fought in Congress, there is always room to rescue markets or to fuel wars.
While there has been no effective response from society to curb these negative domestic events, they may be found outside the country. Once the US's credit engine broke down, China's public banks filled the global credit creation gap, and in subsequent years, the country launched the largest physical infrastructure program in history. Apparently, it is currently considering launching a new international currency to compete with the Dollar standard. China has also emerged as a peer to the US in maintaining the stumbling global balance of power.
In the face of a highly uncertain immediate future, full of daily threats of new and greater financial and military disasters, and the growingly worrysome advance of technology, the urgency of understanding our rapidly changing world is ever greater. A world with a new distribution of power and emerging and declining powers is producing diverse effects in almost all productive sectors and markets in the different regions of the world. Power and money are being rapidly redistributed on a global level and the social sciences require more and more analysis and accurate analysis on these issues.
In this issue of Ola Financiera, there is a selection of articles that propose from different perspectives the study of financialization, shadow banking, digital currency, the local effects (Mexico) of the subprime crisis, and lessons learned from this crisis. There is still a long way to go to understand the causes and effects of the historical event analyzed in this issue, and the contributions presented here offer a valuable contribution in this regard.