COVID-19: the winter wave and the death toll

The winter wave of COVID-19 cases continues to rage in Europe, North America and even Latin America and Asia.  So, as the vaccines get rolled out across the world to varying degrees of rapidity and volume, let’s measure the damage done in deaths from COVID-19 as we approach the end of 2020. Which countries haveContinue reading “COVID-19: the winter wave and the death toll”

The Friedman doctrine in the 21st century

The Stigler Center at the Booth Business School of the University of Chicago has just published an e-book commemorating Milton Friedman’s pronouncement on the valuable and virtuous role of modern capitalist corporations. Named after leading neoclassical economist George Stigler, the Stigler Center wanted to honour the work of Milton Friedman in justifying capitalist corporations as aContinue reading “The Friedman doctrine in the 21st century”

The top 1% of households own 43% of global wealth, 10% owns 81%, while the bottom 50% have just 1%.

The top 1% of households globally own 43% of all personal wealth while the bottom 50% have only 1%.  The 1% are all millionaires in net wealth (after debt) and there are 52m of them.  Within this 1%, there are 175,000 ultra-wealthy people with over $50m in net wealth – that’s a miniscule number ofContinue reading “The top 1% of households own 43% of global wealth, 10% owns 81%, while the bottom 50% have just 1%.”

A credit crash ahead?

The pandemic global slump of 2020 is different from previous slumps in capitalism.  The boom and slump cycle in capitalist production and investment is often triggered by a financial crash, either in the banking system (as in the Great Recession of 2008-9) or in the ‘fictitious capital’ world of stocks and bonds (as in 1929Continue reading “A credit crash ahead?”

COVID vaccines: calling the shots

Before the COVID-19 pandemic engulfed the world, the big pharmaceutical companies did little investment in vaccines for global diseases and viruses.  It was just not profitable. Of the 18 largest US pharmaceutical companies, 15 had totally abandoned the field.  Heart medicines, addictive tranquilizers and treatments for male impotence were profit leaders, not defences against hospitalContinue reading “COVID vaccines: calling the shots”

G20: the debt solution

This weekend, the G20 leaders’ summit takes place – not physically of course, but by video link.  Proudly hosted by Saudi Arabia, that bastion of democracy and civil rights, the G20 leaders are focusing on the impact on the world economy from the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the leaders are alarmed by the huge increaseContinue reading “G20: the debt solution”

Covid 2021: more calamity ahead?

The news that a COVID-19 vaccine could well be available by the start of 2021 sent the stock markets of the world shooting up to new record levels.  However, the rally was quickly tempered by the rocketing rise in COVID-19 infections as the northern hemisphere enters its winter.  The rise is most heavily exhibited inContinue reading “Covid 2021: more calamity ahead?”

US election: women, the young, the working class, the cities and ethnic minorities get rid of Trump

The Democratic party candidate, Joe Biden has beaten the Republican party incumbent Donald Trump for the US presidency in 2020.  What can we learn from election result about the United States of America, the world’s greatest imperialist power, in the third decade of the 21st century? First, the voter turnout.  With not all the votesContinue reading “US election: women, the young, the working class, the cities and ethnic minorities get rid of Trump”

Bidenomics: boom or bust?

With just two days to go, all the public opinion polls indicate that Democratic Party candidate Joe Biden is going to win the US presidential election and oust incumbent Donald Trump.  The Democrats will also solidify their majority in the lower house of the US Congress, the House of Representatives; and perhaps take over theContinue reading “Bidenomics: boom or bust?”