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London capital of boom and bust?

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A class of ‘superstar cities’, including London, have become over recent decades both objects of concentrated academic speculation and sites for economic activities which are themselves highly speculative as well as dynamic and magnifiers of inequality. The post-industrial, post-Fordist and internationalised economy evolving in London since the 1980s has made the city again the most (rather than the least) cyclically sensitive part of the UK economy. Rather surprisingly, however, it has suffered less than other parts of the UK in the downturn since the 2007/8 financial crisis in which its banks were heavily involved. The degree of protection enjoyed during this period reflects a combination of public sector expansion (prior to the austerity programme), safeguarding of senior professional jobs, and a massive government bail-out of the major banks’ wholesale operations.

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