Financial fictions: the old ones

I must declare an interest.  In days of old, many moons ago, I worked for an investment consultancy that advised Bill Hwang, the owner of Archegos, the ‘family office’ hedge fund that recently collapsed leaving $20bn owed to two big banks, Credit Suisse and Nomura. Bill Hwang Hwang was then a ‘Tiger cub’, someone thatContinue reading “Financial fictions: the old ones”

The rise of capitalism and the productivity of labour

In my view, there are two great scientific discoveries made by Marx and Engels: the materialist conception of history and the law of value under capitalism; in particular, the existence of surplus value in capitalist accumulation.  The materialist conception of history asserts that the material conditions of a society’s mode of production and the socialContinue reading “The rise of capitalism and the productivity of labour”

Paris Commune 150: the economics

Today is the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Paris Commune.  The Commune (Council) was formed as result of what should be considered the first uprising and revolution led by the working class in history.  This new class was the product of the industrial revolution in the capitalist mode of production that Marx andContinue reading “Paris Commune 150: the economics”

Mark Carney: value or price?

Mark Carney has a book out. It is called Value(s): Building A Better World For All.  Canadian born Carney was formerly the governor of the Bank of England – the best paid governor ever at £680,000 a year plus £250,000 housing expenses.  Carney recently commented that “You don’t get rich in public service.”! Before thatContinue reading “Mark Carney: value or price?”

Luxemburg 150

Yesterday, 5 March 2021, was the 150th anniversary of the birth of Rosa Luxemburg, the great revolutionary socialist of the Polish-German labour movement.  Luxemburg’s contribution to socialist ideas and to the struggle to replace capitalism is too manifold for a short blog post to do her justice.  So I won’t attempt to do a properContinue reading “Luxemburg 150”

The mainstream: meeting the historic challenges?

Recently, newly confirmed US Treasury secretary and former Fed chief, Janet Yellen, spelt out the challenges facing US capitalism in a letter to her new staff.  She said: “the current crisis is very different from 2008. But the scale is as big, if not bigger. The pandemic has wrought wholesale devastation on the economy. EntireContinue reading “The mainstream: meeting the historic challenges?”

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”