The 2008 financial crisis initially appeared to challenge the sustainability of neoliberal finance capitalism. However, the focus of political and public debate soon shifted to state spending and the need for austerity. This research examines how this shift took place in the British press during 2009. The article begins by charting the rise of neoliberalism and its role in financializing the economy. It then examines how such developments impacted news production and made neoliberal perspectives more prominent in the media. This meant, as the data in this article demonstrate, that the key definers of the crisis in the media were among the strongest advocates of neoliberalism. Reporting of the deficit was characterized by fear appeals, the presentation of misleading data and false comparisons. Finally the article notes the consistent endorsement of austerity measures, by almost all newspapers, despite their consistent history of policy failure during recessions.