Financialisation involves the rising economic, social and political importance and power of the financial sector and of finance. In the past four decades, the processes of financialisation have been a near-global phenomenon, closely interlinked with neoliberalism and globalisation. The financial sector, as measured by the size of banks and scale of stock markets, has expanded rapidly, though with a slowdown and some reversal since the financial crises of 2007–09. Financialisation has also involved the development of a wide range of complex financial assets such as derivatives, and financial deregulation and liberalisation contributing to financial instability and crises. There is growing evidence that a larger financial sector impedes economic growth, particularly for industrialised countries. From the perspective of the capitalist system and its functioning, the question comes as to whether the financial sector has now become dysfunctional.