Subjects Archives: Global Economic Crisis

  • Notes on Contemporary Imperialism

    Phases of Imperialism Lenin dated the imperialist phase of capitalism, which he associated with monopoly capitalism, from the beginning of the twentieth century, when the process of centralization of capital had led to the emergence of monopoly in industry and among banks.  The coming together (coalescence) of the capitals in these two spheres led to […]

  • Mancession: Gender, Occupational Segregation, and the Structural Transformation of Capitalism

      Paul Jay: Nancy Folbre, in her blog on the New York Times, wrote the following: “The Great Recession has sometimes been dubbed the Mancession because it drove unemployment among men higher than unemployment among women.”  So how is this affecting families?  How is this affecting the future outlook for the population as a whole […]

  • Where’s the Legitimacy Crisis?

    In her excellent 2003 book Forces of Labor, Beverly Silver discerns within the history of capitalism an ongoing tension between the system’s simultaneous need for both profitability and legitimacy.  That is, it needs to ensure that capital can squeeze as much value as possible out of the workers while making sure that it doesn’t exploit […]

  • The Crisis and Obama’s Decline

    The economic crisis that Obama rode to victory in 2008 also rode him down in the 2010 elections.  Obama and his economic advisors badly “mismanaged the crisis.”  While the Obama team seems to have learned little from its failure, we need to draw its lessons if we are to reduce the costly social consequences of […]

  • The Value of Money

      Paul Jay: On November 7, the president of the World Bank, Robert Zoellick, issued a statement calling for the reintroduction of some form of gold standard to establish the value of money.  Why now? . . .  Is Robert Zoellick’s proposal grasping at straws? Jane D’Arista: Well, what you’re saying is quite right.  The […]

  • G-20 Barking Up the Wrong Tree

    If the G-20 is going to be nothing more than a talking shop on economic issues, they ought to at least talk about the economic problems that really matter, and the ones that they can do something about.  Not that currency values don’t matter — they are actually very important.  And it is interesting to […]

  • The Fed and the Great Recession That Won’t Go Away

    In the shadow cast by mass media coverage of elections in which under 40% of eligible citizens voted, the Federal Reserve recognized what the candidates could or would not.  The capitalist crisis is still upon us, shows few signs of fading soon, and provides strong hints that it might get worse.  So despite record cash […]

  • Wages and Deflation in Japan

      Wages and Depressions Sooner or later any bubble bursts, leading to falling asset prices as investors flee to safe liquidity.  Distress selling and debt liquidation by the market participants follow.  For Irving Fisher (1933), it is of key importance that an asset price deflation leads — via falling asset prices and a distorted financial […]

  • The Currency War

    Everyone is talking now of the “currency war” that seems to be breaking out among the world’s leading economies, each working for a depreciation of its currency vis-à-vis the others.  The effect of a currency depreciation is to enlarge the exports of the country undertaking such a depreciation and to reduce its imports, since its […]

  • The IMF and Economic Recovery: Is Fund Policy Contributing to Downside Risks?

    Introduction The IMF’s most recent World Economic Outlook (WEO) projects world economic growth will slow, from 4.8 percent in 2010 to 4.2 percent next year.  Throughout the report, there are numerous concerns expressed about the “fragility” of the global economic recovery.  The Acting Chair of the Executive Board states that “[t]he recovery is losing momentum […]

  • Kirchner Rescued Argentina’s Economy, Helped Unite South America

    The sudden death of Néstor Kirchner today is a great loss not only to Argentina but to the region and the world.  Kirchner took office as president in May 2003, when Argentina was in the initial stages of its recovery from a terrible recession.  His role in rescuing Argentina’s economy is comparable to that of […]

  • French Protesters Have It Right: No Need to Raise Retirement Age

    The demonstrations that have rocked France this past week highlight some of its differences from the United States.  This photo, for example, shows the difference between rioting in baseball-playing versus soccer-playing countries.  In the U.S., we would pick up the tear gas canister and THROW it — rather than kick it — back at the […]

  • Playing the Currency Blame Game

    The slanging match over currency and monetary policies at the annual Fund-Bank meetings, held over the second weekend of October, points to the disarray in global economic governance.  While the US sought to mobilise IMF support for an effort to realign exchange rates and ensure an appreciation of the renminbi in the wake of China’s […]

  • The Myth of Expansionary Fiscal Austerity

    Introduction Recently governments, economists, and international financial institutions have been debating the merits of further fiscal stimulus to combat the Great Recession versus fiscal austerity or “adjustment” — that is, higher taxes and/or lower government spending — to combat budget deficits.  Some supporters of austerity have gone as far as arguing that fiscal adjustment could […]

  • Recycling Global Imbalances

      Is the United States at long last getting serious about global imbalances, or are we risking currency wars that can end in unmitigated disaster for all?  No one knows, though tension is on the rise with China.  This much is certain: Any advantage from a lower currency is a zero-sum gain for the world […]

  • From Sugar to Services: An Overview of the Cuban Economy

      Summary: In 1989, services comprised no more than 10 per cent of Cuba’s export revenues, with sugar accounting for over 70 per cent.  In 2007, by contrast, it was sugar that made up 10 per cent of overseas earnings while services accounted for 70 per cent.  The article provides an overview of this drastic […]

  • Just Say No to the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement

      The free trade push has begun again.  Both U.S. President Barack Obama and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak are calling for ratification of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement, which was signed by the two countries’ trade representatives in April 2007 but has yet to be approved by either the U.S. Congress or the South […]

  • How to Fight Islamophobia and the Far Right, in Europe and the United States

    An alarming trend is sweeping Europe.  Far-right parties, using anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric, have made electoral gains in several European countries.  In the June European parliament elections, these parties were able to garner votes in a way they haven’t before.  The British National Party (BNP), which has its roots in fascist parties of the past, […]

  • The Crisis of Poverty in America

    Testimony before the Congressional Out of Poverty Caucus Hearing on “An Emergency Response to the Crisis of Poverty in America,” 30 September 2010. Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak today to the Congressional Out of Poverty Caucus on the poverty crisis facing America. In 2009, the national poverty rate hit 14.3 percent, […]

  • Feel No Pain: Why a Deficit in Times of High Unemployment Is Not a Burden

    With the economy suffering from near double-digit unemployment, public debate is dominated by concerns over the budget deficit and national debt.  This discussion is unfortunate both because there is no reason for people to be concerned about the deficit at present, and more importantly, because it discourages action on the unemployment crisis that is devastating […]