Top ten posts of 2015: Market turmoil, Greece,Mason, Varoufakis and Marxist crisis theory

Here is my usual resume of the top ten most read posts on my blog in 2015. Topping the list was my post in August, Market turmoil, which picked up on the plunge in global stock markets.  It seems that blog followers were keen to note that, as I said in that post, the “bigContinue reading “Top ten posts of 2015: Market turmoil, Greece,Mason, Varoufakis and Marxist crisis theory”

The Marxist theory of economic crises in capitalism – part two

In the first part of this double post, I dealt with whether Marx had a coherent theory of crises or not. I reckoned that Marx’s theory was based on his law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall and that this law was realistic and coherent.  I also argued that Marx didContinue reading “The Marxist theory of economic crises in capitalism – part two”

The Marxist theory of economic crises in capitalism – part one

Last May, at the Marx ist Muss conference in Berlin, I debated with Professor Michael Heinrich on whether Marx had a coherent theory of crises under capitalism that could be tested empirically.  Heinrich’s view, best expressed in an article he had written for Monthly Review Press in 2014, was that Marx did not have aContinue reading “The Marxist theory of economic crises in capitalism – part one”

The US rate of profit revisited

We now have the latest data from the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) going up to 2014 in order to work out a ‘Marxian rate of profit’ for the US economy.  So I have revisited the data in order to bring things up to date.  All the data behind the following graphics are available onContinue reading “The US rate of profit revisited”

The Fed “on the path of sustainable improvement”

So the Fed finally bit the bullet and decided to hike its policy rate from 0.25% to 0.50%.  It also suggested that it would continue to raise its rate by another 1% point in 2016 and further 1% point in 2017 to reach 3.5% by the end of the decade. The Fed’s policy rate setsContinue reading “The Fed “on the path of sustainable improvement””

Kuznets, Piketty, Marx and human development

A new index of human development (HDI) has been created.  The origins of the HDI are found in the annual Development Reports of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). These were devised and launched by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq in 1990 and had the explicit purpose “to shift the focus of development economics from national income accounting to people-centeredContinue reading “Kuznets, Piketty, Marx and human development”

A poisonous concoction

Crude oil prices have hit a seven-year low after last week’s decision in Vienna of OPEC, the oil cartel, not to put any limit on oil production next year. Demand for oil has slowed sharply and oil stocks have built up to a record 3bn barrels while oil tankers circle the waters around refineries in theContinue reading “A poisonous concoction”

Self-correcting economies and macro management

The Keynesians have a problem.  Why has it taken so long to recover from the slump of 2008-9 even after central banks have applied Keynesian-style unconventional monetary policies?  The answer from Britain’s leading Keynesian Simon Wren-Lewis and from America’s top Keynesian, Paul Krugman, is that capitalist economies in slumps are not self-correcting. So we needContinue reading “Self-correcting economies and macro management”