The Politics of Employment and the Limits of the Recovery

Jeremy Green The contested nature of the economic ‘recovery’ has become the central theme of British political debate. The next election, in 2015, will be fought on these terms, with the Coalition government trumpeting its claims of an economic recovery born through austerity, while Labour outlines the limits of the Coalition strategy. It is crucial […]

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The Weekly Sabotage: Week 3

Tim Di Muzio Sabotage and Ownership Last week we considered how the capital as power framework seeks to conceptualize two different forms of sabotage: a general sabotage that limits the potential of humanity in which all business participates and; 2) a particular or differential form of sabotage that is relatively unique to each individual firm. […]

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First Speaker Series on the Capitalist Mode of Power

The First Speaker Series on the Capitalist Mode of Power was sponsored by the York Department of Political Science and the Graduate Programme in Social and Political Thought. Talks were held at York University, Toronto, Canada and the series ran from October to November 2013. Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013 Can Capitalists Afford Recovery? Economic Policy […]

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The Colour of the Sun: A Metaphor for Methodology?

James McMahon Found this video when browsing Boing Boing. Originally posted by NASA, this video is fascinating. It may also stand as a metaphor for the methodological problems in political economic theory. Consider part of the explanation behind the video: “As the colors sweep around the sun in the movie, viewers should note how different […]

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Targeting buying habits

DT Cochrane This is an interesting NYT article about buying habits, market research and advertising. It describes how Target has been able to compile and analyze customer data in order to identify women who are likely pregnant as early as possible. One of the reasons pregnant women are such an attractive market segment, the article […]

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Low Capex, High Market Cap: A New High for Corporate Sabotage?

Edward Lam Found amongst some recent market commentary the chart above seems to be quite striking evidence in favour of the Capital as Power framework. The data series have been put together by the investment bank UBS, based on their broad (though not comprehensive) global stock coverage. UBS has charted two lines: a) the stock […]

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The Market Disapproves of Rob Ford

DT Cochrane The market has spoken: it disapproves of Rob Ford. A Bloomberg article notes that Toronto’s borrowing costs have risen relative to those of other Canadian municipalities. The determinants of bond prices are complex. Broadly, they translate the confidence of market participants in the ability of the borrower to service their debt. This is […]

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No. 2013/01: Bichler & Nitzan, ‘Can Capitalists Afford Recovery?’

Abstract Economic, financial and social commentators from all directions and persuasion are obsessed with the prospect of recovery. The world remains mired in a deep, prolonged crisis, and the key question seems to be how to get out of it. The purpose of our paper is to ask a very different question that few if […]

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Neither here nor there, both here and there

DT Cochrane The media is notoriously short sighted. Its reports on recent events are largely devoid of any historical consideration. This is equally true of market reports. Despite not putting market events into a historical setting, the journalists do not hesitate to offer reasons for the day’s price movements. Usually, some high profile event over […]

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The Rise of a Confident Hollywood: Risk and the Capitalization of Cinema

The Rise of a Confident Hollywood Risk and the Capitalization of Cinema JAMES MCMAHON February 2013 Abstract This paper investigates the historical development of risk in the Hollywood film business. Using opening theatres as a proxy for future expectations, the paper demonstrates how, from 1981 to 2011, Hollywood has improved its ability to predict the […]

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Big Business, small businesses, Death & Profits

DT Cochrane ‘Ask a Mortician‘ is a quirky and informative Youtube series with mortician Caitlin Doughty. The most recent video touches on the political economy of the funeral business. The question is based on an anti-funeral business rant on Reddit and asks: “Is the Funeral Industry a Pyramid Scheme?” Doughty quickly sets aside the misleading […]

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Di Muzio, ‘The Capitalist Mode of Power: Critical Engagements with the Power Theory of Value’

Abstract This edited volume offers the first critical engagement with one of the most provocative and controversial theories in political economy: the thesis that capital can be theorized as power and that capital is finance and only finance. The book also includes a detailed introduction to this novel thesis first put forward by Nitzan and […]

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