In discussions of the current financial crisis, the importance of housing and mortgages, and of foreign account imbalances, notably with East Asian manufacturing economies, suggests a failure in spatial fixes on which capitalism has been said to depend. Not only is this a matter of globalization but a crisis at the urban and suburban scales. Not only is this an crisis of abstract representations and of virtualities (intangibles) as the 2001 implosion of dot.com knowledge assets. Nor is it simply a crisis in the management of intangible virtualties such as ‘the market‘. It is a matter of material sites of social reproduction, such as the home. If these are not fundamental causes, the question does not seem to have been been seriously tackled. Ulrich Beck ties the crisis in sub-prime mortgages and asset-backed instruments to a long history of disasterous political and economic management. We should ask what are the historical lessons of, for example, the economic geographies of the Depression and of the Bretton Woods era?