Brazil’s Tropical Trump

The victory of Jair Bolsonaro as the new President of Brazil puts in the most far-right administration in the top 20 nations of the world.  Bolsonaro says he wants to crush ‘communism’, and restore ‘law and order’ by putting the military in control of the streets and stuffing the Supreme Court with his appointed judges. Continue reading “Brazil’s Tropical Trump”

Socialism and the White House

The Trump White House research team have issued a very strange report.  It’s called “The Opportunity Costs of Socialism,”.  It purports to prove that ‘socialism’ and ‘socialist’ policies would be damaging to Americans because the ‘opportunity costs’ of socialism compared to capitalism are so much higher. What is strange and rather amusing is that theContinue reading “Socialism and the White House”

Keynes part 2 – internationalist or nationalist?

Was Keynes the great internationalist who aimed to make capitalism a stable system through macro management on a world scale?  This is Ann Pettifor’s claim in her recent paeon of praise to Keynes.  Keynes made his name in showing that the policies of penury on Germany after WW1 would be self-defeating for the interests ofContinue reading “Keynes part 2 – internationalist or nationalist?”

Keynes: revolutionary or reactionary? – part one: the economics

Was Keynes a revolutionary in economic thought and policy?  Was he at least radical in his ideas?  Or was he a reactionary opposed to the interests of working people and a conservative in economic theory?  Ann Pettifor is a leading economic advisor to the British leftist Labour leaders, Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.  She isContinue reading “Keynes: revolutionary or reactionary? – part one: the economics”

Climate change and growth – Nordhaus and Romer

It is both appropriate and Ironic that, on the day that William Nordhaus should get the Riksbank prize (also called Nobel) for his contribution to the economics of climate change, the top scientific body, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), should release its latest update on global warming.  The report sets out the key practicalContinue reading “Climate change and growth – Nordhaus and Romer”

Regulation does not work

There is one big lesson from the Danske Bank money laundering scandal.  Regulating the modern banking system does not work.  Modern banks are now primarily giant hedge fund managers speculating on financial assets or they are conduits for tax avoidance havens for the top 1% and the multi-nationals. The Danske Bank scandal is the latestContinue reading “Regulation does not work”

The business perspective: trade, debt and recession

Jerome Powell, the Trump-appointed Chair of the US Federal Reserve, spoke to the National Association of Business Economists (NABE)  yesterday.  He told the assembled mainstream economists who work for big business in the US that the US economy is strong, with unemployment near 50-year lows and inflation roughly at the Fed’s 2% rate objective.  SoContinue reading “The business perspective: trade, debt and recession”

50 years of radical political economy

The 50th anniversary conference of the Union of Radical Political Economy (URPE) finished last weekend.  URPE has played an important role in developing and enhancing alternative economic theory and analysis to the dominant mainstream theories in modern economics.  It has survived despite the long reaction in economics during the ‘neo-liberal’ era that we have beenContinue reading “50 years of radical political economy”