This article analyses macroeconomic developments of the 1990s in the light of recent propositions from régulation theory. These are concerned, firstly, with taking into account interdependencies between the political and economic spheres, with notions of the complementary nature and hierarchy of institutions, with the endogeneity of transition from growth to crisis and with the position of the nation‐state in a situation of greater international interdependence. Thus, they go on to demonstrate that ‘globalization’ relates, above all, to finance and is more the expression of a political project than of economic determinism. The extension of market adjustments has simply not led to the recovery of dynamic efficiency. The viability of various forms of capitalism depends greatly on the international configuration and on the political strategies of the various governments. Finally, the viability of a finance‐dominated or, perhaps, a property‐owning growth regime may prove problematic, as much from a theoretical as from an empirical point of view.