The US rate of the profit – the latest

In this blog on economics and economic issues from a Marxist viewpoint, I seem to have become obsessed by two things in particular: measuring the rate of profit and criticising Keynesian economics.  I don’t think these are bad obsessions because I maintain that the level and trajectory of the rate of profit on advanced capitalContinue reading “The US rate of the profit – the latest”

Bayes law, Nate Silver and voodoo economics

Nate Silver is the new hero of the liberal left in the US.  This mathematician and statistician correctly forecast Obama’s victory in the presidential election and in the Senate and the result for the electoral college in all 50 states. On the morning of the 6 November 2012, the final update of Silver’s model gave PresidentContinue reading “Bayes law, Nate Silver and voodoo economics”

Marx, banking, firewalls and firefighters

“If Karl Marx had been alive in 2007, he would have been working for a bank. Banks had reached a state of communist perfection. The workers took home everything; the capital holders were left with nothing. Shareholders of banks were raped by the staff, who paid themselves extravagant sums out of illusory profits.  Labour hadContinue reading “Marx, banking, firewalls and firefighters”

Monsters, delusions of debt and the crisis

I have just attended the 9th Annual Historical Materialism conference in London.  It was an opportunity to catch up with some of  the latest academic Marxist research from around the world.  I also presented a paper at the HM conference, but more of that later.  The big headline session is when the previous year’s winnerContinue reading “Monsters, delusions of debt and the crisis”

Does it matter who wins?

Does it matter who wins the US presidential election tomorrow?  Is it Tweedledum and Tweedledee? It is often claimed by non-Marxists that the Marxist materialist conception of history leaves no room for the role of the individual.  Individuals are just swept along by historical forces, both economic and social.  So whoever is a leader ofContinue reading “Does it matter who wins?”

UK and US GDP and Anglo-Saxon angst

The first estimate of real GDP growth for Q3 2102 in the UK came out today.  The UK headline figure was up 1% for Q3’12, higher than expected.  But it was misleading, as the data were affected by the Olympics and an extra working day in the month.  Compared to this time last year, UKContinue reading “UK and US GDP and Anglo-Saxon angst”

The dilemma of the mainstream

Mainstream economists and politicians in the main capitalist economies are in a dilemma.  They could not come up with a convincing explanation of why there was a financial collapse and the ensuing Great Recession.  When former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, was asked in the US Congress, right in the middle ofContinue reading “The dilemma of the mainstream”

The smugness multiplier

Paul Krugman, the flagbearer of Keynesian economics, arrives in London this week to debate the impact of fiscal austerity on economies.  And he is feeling pretty smug.  The latest IMF global report (see IMF WEO Chapter 1) on the state of the world economy appears to admit that it was wrong and Keynesians, like Krugman,Continue reading “The smugness multiplier”

Ed Miliband and responsible capitalism

UK Labour opposition leader, Ed Miliband, expounded his views on modern capitalism to the Conservative newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, last week (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ed-miliband/9544522/Ed-Miliband-interview-I-want-to-save-the-capitalism-my-father-hated.html). Ed became leader two years ago when he narrowly beat his brother David in the Labour leadership ballot.  Ed was regarded as more ‘left’ than his Blairite brother and so was backed byContinue reading “Ed Miliband and responsible capitalism”

Crisis or breakdown?

This is a tricky post to do.  I am pretty tentative about what I’m going to say.  It’s a bit like talking out loud.  But then I suppose that’s what blog posts are.  They are fairly quick responses to events or issues.  They are not carefully planned academic papers with rigorous theory backed up byContinue reading “Crisis or breakdown?”