China’s growth challenge

This week the 5th plenum of the Chinese Communist Party central committee is taking place.  The plenum is to discuss the progress of the Chinese economy and to decide on real GDP growth and other targets for the new 2021-25 five-year economic plan for China.  The plenum will also discuss a broad plan for theContinue reading “China’s growth challenge”

A people’s guide to capitalism

It is not easy explaining relatively complex ideas in a simple and clear manner.  Ask any teacher.  It’s a skill lacking in many.  Hadas Thier has brilliantly succeeded in that challenge with her book introducing Marxist economics.  She has delivered a clear, straightforward and entertaining explanation of all Marx’s basic theoretical insights into the natureContinue reading “A people’s guide to capitalism”

Ending the pandemic slump – a return to Keynes?

The latest Trade and Development report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the economic research agency to help ‘developing countries’, is a must read.  Not only is it packed with data and statistics about trends and developments in global production, trade and investment, but this 2020 issue takes a very radicalContinue reading “Ending the pandemic slump – a return to Keynes?”

The US rate of profit before the COVID

Every year, I look at measuring the US rate of profit. Official US data are now available to update the measurement of the rate for 2019. There are many ways to measure the rate of profit (for the various ways, see  I have one way and you can check and replicate my results byContinue reading “The US rate of profit before the COVID”

Abenomics: a review

Over the weekend, Abe Shinzo announced that he was resigning as Japan’s prime minister.  Last November, he became the country’s longest serving premier.  He resigns amid the worst economic slump in Japan’s post-war history, caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdowns.  His popularity had plummeted due to a series of bribery and corruption scandalsContinue reading “Abenomics: a review”

The Fed in a hole

At the Kansas City Fed Jackson Hole symposium, the annual jamboree ‘think-tank’ for international central bankers, US Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell announced the end of monetary policy as a tool to control inflation.  His speech of just a few minutes completely dropped the monetarist theory of inflation as proposed by Chicago free market economistContinue reading “The Fed in a hole”

A Marxist theory of inflation

In my previous post on inflation, I spelt out why mainstream theories of inflation have been proved wrong empirically; leaving mainstream economics in a confusion about what just does drive inflation in the prices of goods and services.  In this post, I want to argue that mainstream theories of inflation falter because they are not basedContinue reading “A Marxist theory of inflation”

Taking on the ‘fearsome foursome’ and ‘market power’

Last Thursday, the US-based global tech giants reported their quarterly earnings simultaneously.  On the same day, the US economy recorded the biggest quarterly contraction in national output ever (-9.5% yoy or -32.9% annualised). In contrast, the ‘fearsome foursome’: Alphabet (Google) – the world’s largest search engine; Amazon – the world’s largest online distributor; Apple –Continue reading “Taking on the ‘fearsome foursome’ and ‘market power’”

A world rate of profit: a new approach

Marx’s model of capitalism assumes a world economy, and starts with ‘capital in general’. It was at that level of abstraction that Marx developed his model of the laws of motion of capitalism and, in particular, what he considered was the most important law of motion in the capitalist process of production, the law ofContinue reading “A world rate of profit: a new approach”