Economics

Marxist economists analyse the crisis

Financial crisis

Author: 

Costas Lapavitsas/Leo Panitch/Fred Moseley/Michel Husson/Andrew Kliman/David Laibman/Simon Mohun/Trevor Evans/Robert Brenner/more
Andrew Kliman and David Laibman are new contributors, and Michel Husson, Fred Moseley, Leo Panitch, and Costas Lapavitsas present second thoughts, in a symposium also including Simon Mohun, Trevor Evans, Robert Brenner, and Dick Bryan.

Marxist Theory and History: 

Fair trade, free trade, and socialism

Author: 

Paul Hampton

Trade is a vital part of the neoliberal economic, political and ideological regime that now dominates the world economy and most national states.

In this pamphlet we try to grasp the essential features of the world economy, especially relating to trade issues.

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A Schäuble road to socialism?

Author: 

Martin Thomas

A long article in the Socialist Economic Bulletin (15 February) and on the Labour Left website Left Futures argues that the “centrepiece” of Labour Party economic policy should be a national investment bank. This would be a publicly-owned bank, able to borrow more cheaply than commercial banks because of its government backing, and lending for infrastructure and industrial projects.

A socialist policy needs, not just a national investment bank, but public ownership and democratic control of all the banks.

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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The world economy since 2008

Author: 

Martin Thomas

Since the immediate recovery from the great 2008-9 economic crisis, world economic growth has been slow and troubled. Major areas have slipped back into recession. Now a “third leg” of the crisis, or even a new crash, are possibilities for 2016. Martin Thomas surveys the path, the causes and the sequels of the crisis.

Since the immediate recovery from the great 2008-9 economic crisis, world economic growth has been slow and troubled. Major areas have slipped back into recession. Now a “third leg” of the crisis, or even a new crash, are possibilities for 2016.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

The other gougers

Author: 

Barry Finger

I enjoyed Ira Berkovic’s review (Solidarity 390, 20 January 2016), but he may have short changed the big shortcoming of The Big Short.

The Michael Lewis source material gives too much hero status to the subjects of this movie (and book) who created a far wider crisis by creating yet another, and hitherto nonexisting, market to short the worst of the subprime securities.

The Big Short gives too much hero status to the subjects of this movie (and book) who created a far wider crisis by creating yet another, and hitherto nonexisting, market to short the worst of the subprime securities.

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The people who gambled with our future

Author: 

Ira Berkovic

In a scene fairly early on in the The Big Short two financial traders visit a Florida housing estate where, they’ve discovered, most of the homeowners are well behind with mortgage repayments.

The Big Short adapts Michael Lewis’s non-fiction account of the subprime mortgage crash into a self-consciously fictionalised comedy-drama which still contains a few lessons in recent economic history.

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The shape of the coming crisis

Author: 

Michel Husson

While the Eurozone is embarking on a very moderate period of recovery, alarmist predictions are multiplying about the overall trajectory of the world economy: “Chinese growth slows, world economy suffers”, was, for example, a headline in Le Monde of 20 October 2015. “On the economic front, there is also reason to be concerned” says Christine Lagarde [1], and Jacques Attali [2] announces that “the world is approaching a great economic catastrophe”.

The “great recession” has opened a period of “chaotic regulation” at the global level. A new crisis seems today to be more or less inevitable.

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Marxist Theory and History: 

Point-scoring and addled advice

Right-wing Labour MPs John Mann, Chris Leslie, and Mike Gapes have rushed to the internet, TV, and the press to score points against Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell.

McDonnell said just before Labour Party conference that Labour would vote for the Tories' "fiscal charter", on the grounds that it has so many loopholes for running deficits that it carries little weight, and voting against it would help the Tories brand Labour as over-spenders.

On Monday 12 October McDonnell, rightly we think, reversed his position and said Labour would vote against the "charter".

The pressure on McDonnell to back Osborne's move to make budget-balancing a legal obligation in normal times came, as far we know, not from the Labour right but from a section of the supposedly Marxist left.

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China: the crash and the workers

Author: 

Colin Foster

The bill for the Chinese government’s gaudy response to the global crash of 2008 is now falling due.

Then, the government promoted the biggest surge of investment in roads, bridges, railways, and buildings ever seen in world history. China has built a high-speed rail network bigger than all the rest of the world’s high-speed rail put together in just the few years since 2007.

Total debt in the Chinese economy­­­ has soared since 2008, and is now equivalent to 282% of annual economic output.

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Corbyn: “economically illiterate”?

Author: 

Ralph Peters

To judge by what you hear from the camps of the other candidates for Labour leader, or the media you might believe that Corbyn's economic policy could only be implemented by a storming of the Westminster Palace with a troop of Red Guards. That is far from the truth.

Corbyn's proposals for renationalisation of the rail network and a gradual takeover of the private energy corporations are classified as “old policies” by Corbyn's opponents who attempt to portray them as unpopular. These policies would indeed have been mainstream in the 60s, 70s and 80s, prior to pro-market policies of the Tories, and the Blairites adoption of Tory policies.

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