Analyses of the global crisis that erupted in 2007 in bank failures, liquidity shortages and business bankruptcies have obscured the connections between the real and monetary economies. Money market fetishism dominates. In the past, theories of economic crisis assigned a key causal role to labour's growing strength. In Britain, the focus of debate was trades unions' allegedly unregulated power at workplace level, but labour's presence and influence in state, business and workplace institutions has since receded. This article attempts to re-insert labour into the contemporary analysis of the crisis and highlights the shifting relations between states, capital and labour in the age of austerity.