Italy: lurching to the right

Italy goes to the polls this Sunday 27 September.  This is a snap election forced on Italy’s president because the ‘technocratic’ government under former ECB chief Mario Draghi fell after he lost majority support in parliament.  That support was lost, partly because Draghi vigorously backed NATO support for Ukraine against the Russian invasion – somethingContinue reading “Italy: lurching to the right”

The closing scissors and profits

Global corporate profits growth is heading south, according to analysis by JP Morgan economists.  JP Morgan estimates that, after surging a humungous 89% (4q moving ave) in 2021, global corporate profits moderated to a still-solid 24% in the year ending in 2Q22.  And they reckon that “on net, the level of profits is 17% aboveContinue reading “The closing scissors and profits”

Life expectancy and human development in the 21st century

Life expectancy is one of the best measures of human development.  In hunter-gather societies, on average, about 57-67% of children made it to 15 years. Then 79% of those 15 year-olds made it to 45 years.  Finally, those remaining at 45 years could expect to reach around 65-70 years. So we can see that lifeContinue reading “Life expectancy and human development in the 21st century”

Energy, cost of living and recession

The G7 governments have a problem.  The war in Ukraine against Russia is not won.  It looks set to be a long grinding conflict, possibly with no end.  And yet the world and particularly Europe depends on Russian energy supplies.  The G7 has agreed to stop buying Russian oil, as part of its programme ofContinue reading “Energy, cost of living and recession”

Russia under Putin

In my last post, I described how Western capital is planning to take over and control Ukraine’s resources and exploit its labour force to the maximum in order to boost the profitability of both Ukraine’s domestic capitalists (oligarchs) and foreign multi-nationals. However, there is a problem for Western capital and Ukraine’s oligarchs: it’s Russia.  TheContinue reading “Russia under Putin”

Ukraine: the invasion of capital

Last week, Ukraine’s foreign private creditors agreed to the country’s request for a two-year freeze on payments on about $20bn of foreign debt.  This would enable Ukraine to avoid defaulting on its overseas borrowings.  Unlike other ‘emerging economies’ in debt distress, it seems that foreign bondholders are happy to help Ukraine out – if onlyContinue reading “Ukraine: the invasion of capital”

The IRA and the four horsemen of the climate apocalypse

The announcement that US President’s Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has got the backing of pro-business, coal-mining owner Democratic Senator Manchin has been greeted with a wave of optimism that the US target of cutting carbon emissions in half before the end of this decade (or 40% compared with 2005 levels), can be met.  “ThisContinue reading “The IRA and the four horsemen of the climate apocalypse”

Calling a recession and blaming it on interest rates

The latest US GDP figures for second quarter of 2022 renewed the debate about whether the US economy was in a recession or not.  Real GDP contracted in the second quarter of this year by a 0.9% annualised rate (or by 0.2% quarter over quarter). That meant the US economy had contracted for two successiveContinue reading “Calling a recession and blaming it on interest rates”