Predictions for 2015

Making predictions or forecasts about a national or the world economy is fraught with failure. There are so many variables to consider and the data available are often inadequate and biased. But the main reason why economists are usually wrong with their forecasts and predictions is that mainstream economics has no real theory or lawsContinue reading “Predictions for 2015”

Top posts of 2014 and a new book for 2015

Once again, I give you my most read posts of the year. 1. Global wealth inequality: top 1% own 41%; top 10% own 86%; bottom half own just 1%. First published in October 2013, it quickly became last year’s winner and held its top spot this year, scoring nearly four times as many viewsContinue reading “Top posts of 2014 and a new book for 2015”

US economy ends on a high; the UK less so

As we go into the Christian holiday break, the major stock markets of the world are reaching all-time highs. The US S&P-500 index has just had its 51st closing high of the year. The S&P 500 has now rebounded 11% since reaching a recent low in the middle of October, following the collapse of oilContinue reading “US economy ends on a high; the UK less so”

The cost of imperialist wars

2014 was supposed to be the year that American troops left Iraq, having completed their task of establishing a pro-West democratic government there. It was also the year that British troops left Afghanistan, having completed their task of ‘pacifying’ the notoriously wild Helmand province, leaving the Afghan army to control the region on behalf ofContinue reading “The cost of imperialist wars”

David Harvey, monomaniacs and the rate of profit

David Harvey is a Distinguished Professor at the City University of New York (CUNY), Director of The Center for Place, Culture and Politics ( and author of numerous books. For over 40 years, he has been one of the world’s most trenchant and critical analysts of capitalist development. And he has developed a global audienceContinue reading “David Harvey, monomaniacs and the rate of profit”

Japan: no mandate

Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party won the snap general election. The LDP won 290 of 475 seats in the lower house of parliament — the more powerful of the two chambers — roughly matching its performance two years ago, Together with its coalition partner, the Buddhist-affiliated Komeito, which won 35 seats, the LDP has retainedContinue reading “Japan: no mandate”

Greece: Samaras gambles

Financial markets got very excited this week when Greece’s conservative PM Antonis Samaras announced that he was going to bring forward an upcoming parliamentary vote for a new president to this month from February. Greek stock prices fell nearly 20% in two days, the biggest fall since the global crash of 1987. Investors are reallyContinue reading “Greece: Samaras gambles”

Oil, the rouble and the spectre of deflation

Crude oil prices have dropped to five-year lows in just a few months.  And the reason is clear: it’s supply and demand!  On the supply-side, the most significant development has been the accelerating expansion of shale oil and gas production in North America, mainly in the US. Oil and gas reserves are trapped in layersContinue reading “Oil, the rouble and the spectre of deflation”

After May – even more austerity

George Osborne, Britain’s finance minister, delivered his so-called autumn statement (in December!) today.  This covers the current state of public finances and plans for future tax and spending measures. The Conservative-led coalition faces an election next May and its main pledge when it came into office in May 2010 was to ‘balance the budget’ andContinue reading “After May – even more austerity”

The seven-year itch

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC ( He is frequently cited in economics reporting in major media outlets. He writes a weekly column for the Guardian Unlimited (UK), the Huffington Post, TruthOut, and his blog, Beat the Press, features commentary on economic reporting. Dean was citedContinue reading “The seven-year itch”