Subjects Archives: Stagnation

  • Davos Mysticism: Elite Optimism Amid Endless Crisis

    “An economic recovery has begun.”      — President Obama, Second Inaugural Address President Obama’s optimism — baseless as it may be — was surely appreciated at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum.  For in what was described as the “most optimistic” meeting since 2007, 2,600 members of the global elite convened over the weekend […]

  • Some Memories of Paul Baran and Paul Sweezy

    In 1949, Paul Sweezy and Leo Huberman created Monthly Review.  In the same year, Paul Baran and I began to teach in the San Francisco Bay Area: Baran at Stanford, myself at UC Berkeley.  As the years unfolded, we worked together politically in the area with the same social aims and values.  Meanwhile, the two […]

  • The World Seen from the South: Interview with Samir Amin

    I would like to focus this interview on three distinct but related questions: your vision of the world and the possibilities of changing it; your conceptual and political proposal on the implosion of capitalism and delinking from it; your analysis of the global context, seen especially from Africa and the Middle East.  What is your […]

  • Greece at a Crossroads: Crisis and Radicalization in the Southern European Semi-periphery

    Introduction The Greek crisis represents the deepening of a long systemic contradiction whose origins lie in the 1960s, in the stagnation of monopoly capitalism and the emergence of the South.  The industrial centers of the world economy were struck by a crisis of profitability, which was displaced outward in space and forward in time by […]

  • “It’s Time to Invent”: Economist Prabhat Patnaik on the Global Crisis

    After an engaging half-hour interview with India’s pre-eminent Marxist economist during a conference at New York University, I told a friend about my one-on-one time with Prabhat Patnaik. “There are Marxists in India?” came the bemused response.  “I thought India was the heart of the new capitalism.” Indeed, we hear about India mostly as a […]

  • Social Democracy’s Great Error: Similarities Between the Schröder and Zapatero Administrations

    In circles close to the former Zapatero administration, attempts have been made to represent former Prime Minister Zapatero as the politician who “sacrificed himself to save Spain,” comparing him to former German Chancellor Schröder who, though aware that he would antagonize his electoral base with his clearly neoliberal policies, went ahead with them, for he […]

  • Why We Occupy, What We Know

    Occupy Eugene rally, 15 October 2011 We are here as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement, which in a few short weeks has become a global movement in hundreds of cities around the world.  We are part of the 99 percent not only in this country but the world. I have been reading the […]

  • Weak Consumption and Shrinking Government Slow GDP in Second Quarter

    Consumption grew at just a 0.1 percent annual rate in the second quarter, while government spending shrank at a 1.1 percent rate, holding GDP growth to 1.3 percent in the quarter.  This report also revised down first-quarter GDP growth to just 0.4 percent from a previously reported 1.9 percent.  Together, these numbers indicate that the […]

  • Federal Reserve Board Policy and the Price of Oil

    Testimony before the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs, Stimulus Oversight, and Government Spending, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the U.S. House of Representatives, at the Hearing on “How Federal Reserve Policies Add To Hard Times At The Pump,” 25 May 2011 Thank you, Chairman Jordan, Ranking Member Kucinich, and other members of the Subcommittee, […]

  • House Prices Continue Sharp Decline

    The Case-Shiller 20-City index fell sharply again in December, dropping a full percentage point from its November level.  This is the third consecutive month that it has fallen by at least 1.0 percent.  It is now down by 4.3 percent from its peak in July.  Nineteen of the 20 cities had a drop in prices.  […]

  • 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 […]

  • The Spectre of Default in Europe

    Default, Debt Renegotiation and Exit When the Eurozone crisis burst out in early 2010, an RMF report identified three strategic options for peripheral countries, namely, first, austerity imposed by the core and transferring the costs of adjustment onto society at large, second, broad structural reform of the Eurozone in favour of labour and, third, exit […]

  • Noam Chomsky on Hopes and Prospects for Activism: “We Can Achieve a Lot”

    Acclaimed philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky is Institute Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He shared his perspectives on international affairs, economics, and other themes in an interview conducted at his office in Boston on September 14, 2010. Keane Bhatt: Your new book Hopes and Prospects begins with the story of […]

  • Ireland vs Iceland

      . . . The travails of the lands of Ire and Ice are not so much at odds with each other and come down essentially to the same point — the size of banking assets to that of the general economy; but they do differ considerably in how the two economies approached the battle. […]

  • Where’s the Growth Supposed to Come From?

    Have governments everywhere simply lost their marbles?  Not much emerged from the Seoul G-20 Summit — and definitely not anything really desirable in the form of coordinated Global Keynesian policies (of the kind that Matías Vernengo has advocated in the TripleCrisis blog).  But then, quite frankly, not much was really expected to come out, given […]

  • On Paul Baran’s Political Economy of Growth

    In underdeveloped countries the appropriation of the economic surplus by foreign capital or its absorption by nonessential consumption of the parasitic upper classes is emphasized, the repercussions being a low level of investment and slow economic growth.

  • A Modest Proposal for Overcoming the Euro Crisis

    It is now abundantly clear that each and every response by the eurozone (EZ) to the galloping sovereign debt crisis has been consistently underwhelming.  This includes the joint EZ-IMF operation, back in May, to “rescue” Greece and, in short order, the quite remarkable overnight formation of a so-called “special vehicle” (officially the European Financial Stability […]

  • Taking the Measure of Rot

    I gave this talk at a very good conference, New Deal/No Deal, at Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, on October 29.  The panel chair was Michael Reich, who was the main organizer of the conference along with Richard Walker of the geography department.  The dual themes were reflecting on the New Deal […]

  • 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 […]

  • Chronicles of Insurrection: Tronti, Negri and the Subject of Antagonism

    Once I went to May Day.  I never got workers’ festivities.  The day of work, are you kidding?  The day of workers celebrating themselves.  I never got it into my head what workers’ day or the day of work meant.  I never got it into my head why work should be celebrated.  But when I […]