The UK rate of profit and others

The emphasis of most Marxist research on the rate of profit has been on the US, partly because it is the most important and largest capitalist economy and partly because the data available are so much better than elsewhere. In a previous post, I said that I would look at what was happening to theContinue reading “The UK rate of profit and others”

Prospects for 2012

2011 was a pretty awful year for the major capitalist economies.  At the beginning of the year, most mainstream economic forecasts asserted that the major capitalist economies would continue to accelerate their recovery from the Great Recession of 2008-9 through 2011, with real GDP growth rising to about 3% on average.  However, by the endContinue reading “Prospects for 2012”

Andrew Kliman and The Failure of Capitalist Production

The Failure of Capitalist Production is the title of Andrew Kliman’s new book – with the subtitle, The underlying causes of the Great Recession ( AK’s book is an important contribution to the debate, among Marxists in particular, over the causes of the Great Recession.  Marxists are divided over this. The majority argue that theContinue reading “Andrew Kliman and The Failure of Capitalist Production”

Measuring the US rate of profit: up or down?

There was another fascinating session at last weekend’s Historical Materialism conference in London – at least it was fascinating for us nerds who like to compile and analyse empirical data on the rate of profit ad infinitum!  Three titans in this field presented papers together: Michel Husson, the French Marxist economist (author of several papersContinue reading “Measuring the US rate of profit: up or down?”

David Harvey, Marx’s method and the enigma of surplus

Last Friday in London, David Harvey gave the Isaac Deutscher Memorial Lecture to a packed audience at the Historical Materialism Conference 2011.  Harvey had won the 2010 Isaac Deutscher prize for the best Marxist book of the year with The Enigma of Capital (  So he gave a lecture this year.  Harvey is a DistinguishedContinue reading “David Harvey, Marx’s method and the enigma of surplus”

Italy and Greece: rule by the bankers

It looks as though, by Monday, both Greece and Italy will be ruled by so-called ‘technocratic’ governments.  Even though both Greek prime minister George Papandreou and Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi were elected comfortably in parliamentary polls and were never defeated in any vote of confidence in parliament, they have been ousted – to beContinue reading “Italy and Greece: rule by the bankers”

It’s a not so funny old world

We wait to see what misery the Greek parliament agrees to inflict on its people now that its prime minister Papandreou has been forced to backtrack on his referendum vote designed to force the electorate to back the austerity package – or else.   It’s not so funny to realise that just about the only peopleContinue reading “It’s a not so funny old world”

The debate on the rate of profit (yet again)

Did the US rate of profit trend upwards from 1982 and when did it peak?  The debate/argument continues among Marxist economists.  And behind this debate about the facts is the analysis.  If the rate of profit did rise from 1982 onwards, how can Marx’s law of the tendency of the rate of profit to fallContinue reading “The debate on the rate of profit (yet again)”

Riccardo Bellofiore, Steve Keen and the delusions of debt

There’s been a bit of a gap since my last post as I have been away.  However, I got back to London in time to take in two interesting meetings.  One was called the European against Austerity conference ( where several well-known left economists and trade unionists spoke on an alternative left strategy on theContinue reading “Riccardo Bellofiore, Steve Keen and the delusions of debt”

It feels like a depression

Economic growth in the major capitalist economies has slowed sharply.  The recovery from the Great Recession of 2008-9 that began in mid-2009 appears to be faltering.  In previous posts (Double dips, deficits and debt, 24 August 2011; US heading into recession again?, 15 August 2011), I have argued that a double-dip recession was unlikely.  ByContinue reading “It feels like a depression”