Economics

Marxist economists analyse the crisis

Financial crisis

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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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Work, time, and the working class

Moishe Postone, a Marxist writer based at the University of Chicago and author of Time, Labour, and Social Domination, and Critique du fétiche-capital: Le capitalisme, l’antisémitisme et la gauche, was in London in May, and discussed capital and labour with Martin Thomas from Solidarity.

Moishe Postone, a Marxist writer based at the University of Chicago and author of Time, Labour, and Social Domination, and Critique du fétiche-capital: Le capitalisme, l’antisémitisme et la gauche,discusses capital and labour with Martin Thomas.

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Don’t blame migrants, blame the bosses!

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Editorial

Free movement across borders gives individual freedom, and makes cultures more diverse and richer. Migrants have rights; and migrants are a boon, not a burden.

To win democratic control against the rapacious profit-drive of the capitalist multinationals and the global financial markets requires joint action by many countries. Socialism cannot be built in one country alone. The working class, to win gains, must unite across borders. The lower the borders, the easier it is to unite.

To win democratic control against the rapacious profit-drive of the capitalist multinationals and the global financial markets requires joint action by many countries.

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Two cheers for neo-liberalism?

Author: 

Martin Thomas
IMF economists have criticised extreme neo-liberalism, but in the name of moderate neo-liberalism.

Jonathan Ostry, an IMF economist with a long record of arguing that extreme income inequality harms capitalist growth, has published a new article on the theme with two IMF colleagues, Prakash Loungani and Davide Furceri.

Capitalist crises generally come through sudden shutdowns of investment and luxury spending by the rich which then snowball through the economy. The poor are less apt to go in for sudden bouts of holding on to our cash. The greater the proportion of spending controlled by the rich, the more unstable.

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Brexit would mean free rein for capital

Author: 

Martin Thomas

88% of six hundred economists surveyed for the Observer newspaper (29 May) reckon that Brexit would reduce economic growth in Britain.

Economists often get things wrong, and the gist of the economists' opinion is that Brexit would disrupt the regular flows of the global capitalist economy, thus pushing down trade and investment into Britain.

Most enlightening is what the pro-Brexit minority of economists say. The "Economists for Brexit" group led by veteran Thatcherite Patrick Minford has produced a report.

Pro-Brexit economists explain their vision: a Britain where the rapacity of the capitalist free market is unrestrained.

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Varoufakis’ plan to change Europe

Author: 

John Cunningham

During the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, the Athenians captured the small island of Melia, considered to be friendly to their rival city state.

The Melians, powerless before the might of Athens, pleaded for mercy but to no avail. The Athenians stated that justice belonged to the strong, they would do as they pleased “and the weak suffer what they must” (note that the original quote is a statement, not a question — a subtle but important difference).

A review of And the Weak Suffer What They Must? by Yanis Varoufakis (Bodley Head, 2016).

The AWL, Labour and the Left: 

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A Schäuble road to socialism?

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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.

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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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