This article concentrates on private equity (PE) in the UK. It argues that private equity is the latest of a series of ways in which finance and the City of London have dominated the UK economy. In a relatively short period, large PE deals became significant in the UK. They led to organisational restructurings which treated the workforce as expendable costs. The rise of private equity led eventually to political opposition and although this appeared briefly to be very powerful, in the end it achieved little because it was never strong enough to combat the allied forces of the City, the Treasury and the Bank of England. However, private equity has not been triumphant. On the contrary it is fully implicated in the current financial crisis and its structure means that its growth has ceased and its very survival is in question. In some European countries, this may mean that rising financialisation will be halted at least temporarily. However in the UK, where the City is powerfully entrenched, private equity may decline but it is doubtful whether the financial dominance of the UK economy will be fundamentally challenged
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