Charles J. Whalen
JEL classification: B26;
Keywords: Hyman Minsky, money manager capitalism, financialization;
Abstract: Since Hyman Minsky’s death in 1996, much has been written about financialization. This article —
by means of the synthesis, interpretation, and assessment of an extensive literature — explores
the issues that Minsky examined in the last decade of his life and considers their relationship to
the financialization literature. At the heart of those issues is what Minsky called money manager
capitalism, which he viewed through the lens of a theory of capitalist development inherited from
Joseph Schumpeter. Advancing our understanding of the history of financial economics, the article
shows how Minsky contributed to — indeed, anticipated much of — the study of financialization.
The article also identifies two sources of Minsky’s insightfulness: his treatment of economics as
a grand adventure, and his willingness to step beyond the world of theory and interact with the
world of practice. Today, scholars with a Minsky perspective face formidable challenges, but, the
author concludes, within Minsky’s writings is also a glimmer of hope: Economic systems are not
natural systems; we can reshape them to achieve a more humane world.