US investment strike

The latest revision of US GDP for Q3 2011 also revealed another rise in corporate profits.  According to the official data, corporate profits are now at an all-time high in nominal terms at $1977bn (after adjustments), or nearly 20% above the peak in Q3 2006 before the financial crash.  Profits fell 42% from that peakContinue reading “US investment strike”

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”

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)”

The weakest recovery since 1918

The news that UK unemployment was sharply on the rise last month was followed quickly by an estimate by the UK’s National Institute of Economic and Social Research ( Britain’s GDP probably rose only 0.5% in the last three months to September.  The NIESR reckons that year-on-year real growth has been only 0.5% too.  AsContinue reading “The weakest recovery since 1918”

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”

More on Marx

After Nouriel Roubini (see my post, Karl Marx was right (partly), 16 August 2011), more mainstream economists have started to refer to Marx in an explanation of what happened to capitalism before, during and after the Great Recession.  Most of the new references have been accompanied by criticisms that generally dismiss Marx’s theories and lawsContinue reading “More on Marx”

The rate of profit (again!)

At the risk of boring my subscribers, I’ve got to return to the issue of the rate of profit as the most important indicator and cause of capitalist crisis.  I do so because one of the readers of this blog (see Cameron’s comment, 25 August 2011) brought to my attention a recent paper on newContinue reading “The rate of profit (again!)”

Double dips, deficits and debt

I recently did a post that argued the US economy was not yet in recession (see US heading into recession again?, 15 August 2011).  I was criticised in this blog for being too optimistic and not recognising that the US economy had already slipped into a ‘double-dip’ recession.  And there has been a chorus ofContinue reading “Double dips, deficits and debt”