For a summary lecture in my class "Understanding the Financial Crisis", I've prepared a graphic of the big picture. There wasn't enough space for every item, and the arrows need a lot of explanation, but here it is:
Note: Black indicates "economic" factors, green "cultural" and red (or plum) "political". These are loose distinctions, of course. Most of the boxes are self-explanatory, except for the following:
"From ISI to ELI" refers to the collapse of import-substituting industrialization and its replacement with export-led industrialization.
"Deproductivization" describes the erosion of productivist motives in US institutions and policies, including education, infrastructure, regional and industrial policy.
The "Finance Perspective" signifies both financialization as a conceptual framework and the ascendancy of financial interests in the political sphere.
There simply wasn't space for a box for trade liberalization, which is influenced by the IT revolution, US geopolitics and the finance perspective, and which encouraged the shift to ELI, while acquiring its distinctive characteristics in conjunction with (how do we show this?) deproductivization. It played a significant role, directly and indirectly, in the emergence of global imbalances.
Global financial integration was influenced by geopolitics and the finance perspective, took on its particular form as a result of the failure of risk management, facilitated domestic US financial excesses (and excesses in other deficit countries), and was a central conduit for the propagation of the crisis.
I need at least one more dimension to show all this.