Despite initial appearances (and hopes), capitalist realism was not undermined by the credit crisis of 2008. The speculations that capitalism might be on the verge of collapsing soon proved to be unfounded. It quickly became clear that, far from constituting the end of capitalism, the bank bail-outs were a massive re-assertion of the capitalist realist insistence that there is no alternative. Allowing the banking system to disintegrate was held to be unthinkable, and what ensued was a vast hemor-rhaging of public money into private hands. Nevertheless, what did happen in 2008 was the collapse of the framework which has provided ideological cover for capitalist accumulation since the 1970s. After the bank bail-outs neoliberalism has, in every sense, been discredited. That is not to say that neoliberalism has disappeared overnight; on the contrary, its assumptions continue to dominate political economy, but they do so now no longer as part of an ideological project that has a confident forward momentum, but as inertial, undead defaults. We can now see that, while neoliberalism was necessarily capitalist realist, capitalist realism need not be neoliberal. In order to save itself, capitalism could revert to a model of social democracy or to a Children of Men–like authoritarianism. Without a credible and coherent alternative to capitalism, capitalist realism will continue to rule the political-economic unconscious.