The cycle of profitability and the next recession

As we end the calendar year and head into a new one, it’s time to review the prospects for the world capitalist economy.  Those prospects continue to depend on one key factor, the profitability of capital.  In my book, The Great Recession, and elsewhere, I have argued that the profitability of capital moves in aContinue reading “The cycle of profitability and the next recession”

Britain: making working class students pay

What a travesty the proposed changes to university fees in Britain are!   There is so much hogwash dished up by the defenders of raising college fees.  The cowardly Liberal Democrat ministers are much more interested in keeping their plush jobs in the coalition government than in honouring their election promises to end higher education tuitionContinue reading “Britain: making working class students pay”

Business as usual

Wikileaks gave us yet another gem this week, this time on the nature of the bailout of the global financial sector during the Great Recession.  According to the US Ambassador to Kazakhstan in his report on the attitude of the politicians there:  “The Ambassador asked if the corruption and infighting are worse now than before.Continue reading “Business as usual”

Saving the euro

Last May (Is the euro dead?, 25 May 2010), I argued that the euro would not collapse under the pressure of international bond markets, leading the weaker capitalist economies of the Eurozone into defaulting on their government and bank debts. As I said then: “This sovereign debt crisis is a product of an expansion ofContinue reading “Saving the euro”

Irish eyes are no longer smiling

I was outside Leinster House, the home of the Irish parliament, the Dail, along with a small group of demonstrators and all the TV cameras with their presenters queuing up ghoulishly to pick over the bones of the Irish economy. Across the road, the troika of IMF, EU and ECB officials were ensconced in theContinue reading “Irish eyes are no longer smiling”

Pushing on a string

This week, leading right-wing economists in the US launched a campaign in the Wall Street Journal attacking the plan of the US Federal Reserve Bank under Chairman Ben Bernanke to buy $600bn in US government bonds. This plan is the next chapter in so-called ‘quantitative easing’ (QE) by the Fed.  QE is a weapon inContinue reading “Pushing on a string”

Missing the tea party

The talk about the results of the US mid-term congressional elections is all around President Obama’s Democrats losing control of the lower House of Representatives and only narrowing holding the Senate.  And it’s all around the success or otherwise of the so-called Tea Party movement based on voters in the richer and mid-West parts ofContinue reading “Missing the tea party”

The pace of recovery

After my last post (No double dip, 29 October 2010) , the question was raised about whether the Great Recession has been more severe and long-lasting than any other capitalist economic slump since the war – and also whether the recovery has been weaker and slower than previous recoveries. So I looked at the dataContinue reading “The pace of recovery”