The Great Recession and cutting the denominator

If anybody doubts that the slump in the major capitalist economies of 2008-9 really was the Great Recession, just look at this graph describing the percentage fall in overall US employment in each of the major economic recessions since the 1950s. The Great Recession saw a fall of over 6% in US  employment from earlyContinue reading “The Great Recession and cutting the denominator”

Deleveraging and the economic recovery

The latest jobs figures for June out of the US startled all the mainstream economists.  They were expecting a steady rise in employment to be confirmed by the data, suggesting  that the US economy was continuing to recover from the Great Recession.  Then both politicians and economists could claim that things were getting back toContinue reading “Deleveraging and the economic recovery”

Carchedi, Foster and the causes of crisis

The annual Marxism 2011 festival took place in London this weekend.  One of the sessions was on Marxist theory and the economic crisis.  The speakers were John Bellamy Foster, the editor of the American Monthly Review, Guglielmo Carchedi, the Italian Marxist economist and Joseph Choonara from the British Socialist Workers Party. With three speakers andContinue reading “Carchedi, Foster and the causes of crisis”

Returning to the long view

There is much talk in the financial press and among economists of the risk that the major capitalist economies could be slipping back into recession.  Economic data for the US and Europe are indicating a significant slowdown in economic growth and a weak recovery in employment and investment.  Is this just a temporary blip orContinue reading “Returning to the long view”

The working poor

There’s a new book just out called Chavs: the demonisation of the working class by Owen Jones (see Amazon, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Chavs-Demonization-Working-Owen-Jones).  I have not read it and will try and review it in another post.  In the book, Jones apparently argues that the media and the British elite have demonised the working class into feckless criminalsContinue reading “The working poor”

Profits lead the way

It’s been a long time since my last post.  I’ve been snowed under trying to get some papers and articles done.  But anyway, back to the moment! Are the mature capitalist economies on the road to sustained economic recovery?  It depends on what you mean by sustained and recovery, of course.  The major capitalist economiesContinue reading “Profits lead the way”

The crisis of neoliberalism and Gerard Dumenil

Gerard Dumenil and Dominique Levy have made important contributions to the understanding of Marxist economics over the years.  Now they have a new book out, called The crisis of neoliberalism (http://www.jourdan.ens.fr/~levy/dle2011a.htm).  Gerard Dumenil was in London this week to give a presentation on the main ideas in their book. Dumenil started by saying modern capitalism,Continue reading “The crisis of neoliberalism and Gerard Dumenil”

Public versus private

The threat by Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin in the US, to end collective bargaining arrangements with public sector workers in that state is nastiest move yet by the ‘free market’ Republicans as a response to the slump in US capitalism.  The governor is trying to portray the very victims of the banking collapseContinue reading “Public versus private”

Taxing capitalists

The big talk in the UK this weekend (at least among those interested in such things) is the news that although Barclays Bank made £4.85bn (nearly $8bn) operating profit in 2009, it paid just £113m in taxes to the UK government, or an effective tax rate of 2.4%.  This is against the official corporate taxContinue reading “Taxing capitalists”