Stop the game – I want to get off!

‘Hedging’ used to be a way of reducing the risk of selling or buying.  Farmers waiting for their harvest to come in are uncertain about what price per bushel they will get at the market: will they get a price that makes them a profit and a living for next year or will they beContinue reading “Stop the game – I want to get off!”

Covid and fictitious capital

During the year of the COVID, output, investment and employment in nearly all the economies of the world plummeted, as lockdowns, social isolation and collapsing international trade contracted output and spending.  And yet the opposite was the case for the stock and bond markets of the major economies.  The US stock market indexes (along withContinue reading “Covid and fictitious capital”

Biden’s four years

It’s inauguration day.  There is a new president in the US, the most powerful capitalist economy and state in the world.  Joe Biden’s four-year term begins today, as Donald Trump slinks off to his Florida estate and golf course, after saying that his “movement is just beginning”. What is the state of the United StatesContinue reading “Biden’s four years”

ASSA 2021: part two – the radical answers

At the annual conference of the American Economics Association (ASSA), there are sessions hosted by the Union for Radical Political Economics (URPE) for Marxist and other heterodox economists to present papers. At this year’s ASSA 2021, many of the URPE sessions were concerned with the economic impact of COVID-19 and climate change, as did theContinue reading “ASSA 2021: part two – the radical answers”

ASSA 2021 – part one: the mainstream dilemma

The annual conference of the American Economic Association (ASSA 2021) was unusual this year, for obvious reasons.  Instead of 13,000 academic and professional economists descending on an American city to present and discuss hundreds of submitted papers over a few days, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, ASSA 2021 was virtual.  Despite that, there were a hostContinue reading “ASSA 2021 – part one: the mainstream dilemma”

Forecast for 2021

This time last year, I started my post on the forecast for 2020 by making a distinction between predictions and forecasts.  I argued that we can make predictions that can be tested, say about the climate and global warming.  Climate scientists predict that if carbon emissions keep rising, then global temperatures will keep rising and eventuallyContinue reading “Forecast for 2021”

The Brexit deal

The UK finally leaves the European Union on 31 December, after 48 years of membership (if you include joining the European Economic Community in 1973).  The initial decision to leave, made in the special referendum back in June 2016, has taken over four tortuous years to implement.  So what does the deal mean for BritishContinue reading “The Brexit deal”

Top ten posts of 2020

As usual at this time of the year, it’s the annual stock take for this blog.  This year there have been 670,000 hits on the blog to date.  That’s up 45% on 2019, another record!  That may not match the millions that hit the sites of mainstream economists but it’s not bad for a Marxist.Continue reading “Top ten posts of 2020”

Books in the year of the COVID

Every year, I do a post on books that I have reviewed during the last 12 months. What’s a bit surprising in this year of the COVID is that I did not review any books specifically on the pandemic. Even the excellent book by John Bellamy Foster, The Return of Nature: Socialism and Ecology, whichContinue reading “Books in the year of the COVID”

Beethoven: revolutionary times

It is the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig Beethoven, who was born either on 16 or 17 December 1770; nobody was quite sure, including Beethoven himself.  Beethoven is considered the most musically revolutionary of ‘classical’ composers. And in my view, that was no accident of history because Beethoven was a man of hisContinue reading “Beethoven: revolutionary times”