Profits call the tune

It’s time to return to my favourite topic – Marx’s law on profitability and economic crises.  I have been preparing a paper on the idea of a world rate of profit for the upcoming joint conference of the Association of Heterodox Economists (AHE), the International Initiative for Promoting Political Economy(IIPPE), the World Association of PoliticalContinue reading “Profits call the tune”

Keynes, the profits equation and the Marxist multiplier

Even though the crisis deepens in Europe as the ‘bailout’ of Spain fails to stop the negative reaction of financial markets and Italy shows every sign of slipping into a depression along with the rest of southern Europe, I must return to my current hobby horse, the Keynesian theory of capitalist crisis and the policiesContinue reading “Keynes, the profits equation and the Marxist multiplier”

A weak world

The world economy continues to struggle.  In the last week alone, the data on various parts show very weak growth and in some areas, signs of slippage into recession.  In its latest report, the OECD said that the global economy “is gradually gaining momentum”, but admitted that “the recovery is fragile, extremely uneven across differentContinue reading “A weak world”

Krugman and depression economics

Paul Krugman’s latest book, End this depression now!, is easy reading (http://www.amazon.com/End-This-Depression-Paul-Krugman/dp/0393088774).  In this well-written piece, the Nobel prize winner and guru of Keynesian economics outlines many of the arguments that he has been making in his much followed New York Times blog (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/).  He says this book is not really about the causes ofContinue reading “Krugman and depression economics”

Sensible and popular Keynesians – the sophistry of Raghuram Rajan

Raghuram Rajan is a professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, the heart of neoclassical mainstream ‘vulgar economics’, as Marx called mainstream economics – vulgar because it acted as an apologia to capitalism and was no longer an objective critique as the classical economists of Smith, Malthus and Ricardo had been.  RajanContinue reading “Sensible and popular Keynesians – the sophistry of Raghuram Rajan”

Inequality: the cause of crisis and depression?

The inequality issue has risen its head again.  Paul Krugman took it up big time again in his New York Times column: “Did the rise of the 1 percent (or, better yet, the 0.01 percent) cause the Lesser Depression we’re now living through? It probably contributed. But the more important point is that inequality isContinue reading “Inequality: the cause of crisis and depression?”

Choonara, McNally and the US rate of profit

Dave McNally wrote a very good book last year called, Global Slump (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Global-Slump-Spectre-David-McNally/dp/1604863323Global Slump).  Joseph Choonara wrote a critical review, Once more (with feeling) on Marxist accounts of the crisis, http://www.isj.org.uk/index.php4?id=762&issue=132).  In his review, Choonara says that McNally’s claim of a doubling in the rate of profit from 1982 to 1997 is incorrect.  Choonara goesContinue reading “Choonara, McNally and the US rate of profit”

Stephen King, taxes and charities

What’s wrong with charities?  Well, nothing in themselves; people want to help others in difficulty and do so every day. It’s just that in a modern capitalist world, charity has been usurped into a business that employs thousands to raise funds (some of whom earn fat salaries administrating it) to squeeze ordinary people on theContinue reading “Stephen King, taxes and charities”

The UK’s weak recovery and profitability

The right-wing free market rag, City AM, hit on an important aspect of the UK economy in an editorial this week (http://www.cityam.com/latest-news/allister-heath/secret-collapse-corporate-profits-hurting-uk-s-recovery). Its editor, Allistair Heath, announced that there was a “secret collapse in corporate profits” that ” is hurting the UK’s recovery“.   Heath pointed out that “the supposedly well-established fact that profits are boomingContinue reading “The UK’s weak recovery and profitability”

Effective demand, liquidity traps and debt deflation

Paul Krugman has laid into Ben Bernanke, the head of the US Federal Reserve, for stopping his previous policy of easy money and quantitative easing.  By pausing, Krugman reckons that the Fed could allow the US economy to slip back into recession: “He has not done remotely enough. The Fed, under its eminent chairman, wasContinue reading “Effective demand, liquidity traps and debt deflation”