2008 witnessed a double shock to the post Cold War order. The North Atlantic financial system suffered a historic crisis, which could be managed only by unprecedented financial intervention by the US state. Weeks before Wall Street imploded, Russia invaded Georgia, a country which earlier in the year had been promised NATO membership. Too little remarked upon at the time, this paper will argue that this conjuncture revealed stark limits to the North Atlantic system of security and financial stability, which since 2013 have come back to haunt us in the on-going Ukrainian crisis.
Adam Tooze is the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of History at Columbia University.