Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown

After the financial apocalypse, neoliberalism rose from the dead—stronger than ever
At the onset of the Great Recession, as house prices sank and joblessness soared, many commentators concluded that the economic convictions behind the disaster would now be consigned to history. And yet, in the harsh light of a new day, we’ve awoken to a second nightmare more ghastly than the first: a political class still blaming government intervention, a global drive for austerity, stagflation, and an international sovereign debt crisis.

Philip Mirowski finds an apt comparison to this situation in classic studies of cognitive dissonance. He concludes that neoliberal thought has become so pervasive that any countervailing evidence serves only to further convince disciples of its ultimate truth. Once neoliberalism became a Theory of Everything, providing a revolutionary account of self, knowledge, information, markets, and government, it could no longer be falsified by anything as trifling as data from the “real” economy.

In this sharp, witty and deeply informed account, Mirowski—taking no prisoners in his pursuit of “zombie” economists—surveys the wreckage of what passes for economic thought, finally providing the basis for an anti-neoliberal assessment of the current crisis and our future prospects.


  • “A fascinating account.”
  • “The best and most thorough treatment of the financial crisis’s impact upon the economics profession.”
  • “A study guide for those who saw Inside Job and want more… Anyone who reads it will recognize the author’s enormous energy and originality.”
  • “Raucous, irreverent and highly perceptive.”
  • “It is hard to imagine a historian who was not an economist (as Mirowski is) being able to encompass the economics of the second half of the 20th century in its diversity and technicality.”
  • “Mirowski is the most imaginative and provocative writer at work today on the recent history of economics.”
  • “A powerful critique of neoclassical economics.”
  • “An important demolition of neoliberal dogmas.”
  • “Well worth reading.”
  • “Mirowski exposes the neoliberal takeover of minds and culture with an erudition, style and—dare I say it?—vocabulary that makes deep digging in this Great Bog of Repression almost a pleasure. This book shows how economic ideas caused the crisis. And it demonstrates their enduring triumph, which is that nothing has changed or will change, as we careen from the last disaster to the next one.”


  • What is a 'Nobel Prize-winning economist'? Philip Mirowski investigates

    The title of 'Nobel Prize-winning economist' is frequently used to impart a sense of gravitas, authority and scientific expertise. However, the status of the prize - created and funded by the Swedish Central Bank, rather than the Nobel Foundation itself - has long been a matter of controversy. 

    In the following interview with the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Philip Mirowski argues that the history of the prize is inseperable from the rise of neoliberal economics, which it continues to legitimise as the one true eonomic 'science' in the eyes of the mass media and political institutions. 

    Philip Mirowski's book, Never Let a Serious Crisis Go to Waste: How Neoliberalism Survived the Financial Meltdown, is available direcly through the Verso website, with a 60% discount and free postage and ebook included. 

  • Economics Undergraduate Reading List: 50% off!

    All the books on this list are 50% off until Tuesday 8th September as part of our Back to University/Back to School sale. See all the books included in the sale here.

    Remember kids! "Capital is dead labour, that, vampire-like, only lives by sucking living labour, and lives the more, the more labour it sucks." Get ready to go back to school by reading Verso's Economics 101 syllabus. 

    Companion to Marx’s Capital Volume 1 & Volume 2
    By David Harvey

    This is a must-read for anyone wanting a fuller understanding of Marx's political economy.

    “No short review can do justice to this outstanding book ... Essential.”
    – Michael Perelman, Choice

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  • Paul Mason: Greece—five pictures of a troubled country

    In a special long-read published on his Channel 4 blog, Paul Mason offers five pictures of Greece on the verge of default. 

    A divided population?

    As the crunch approaches the atmosphere has changed. For six months the centre right in Greece was prepared to wait and let Alexis Tsipras try—and fail—to secure a letup on austerity. Now the old political establishment has understood he intends to take this to the bitter end: a default on Greece’s June payment to the IMF, with possible dire consequences for the banks as early as Monday night.

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