2018/01: Bichler and Nitzan, 'With their Back to the Future: Will Past Earnings Trigger the Next Crisis?'

The U.S. stock market is again in turmoil. After a two-year bull run in which share prices soared by nearly 50 per cent, the market is suddenly dropping. Since the beginning of 2018, it lost nearly 10 per cent of its value, threatening investors with an official ‘correction’ or worse. As always, there is no Continue Reading

No. 2017/04: Bichler and Nitzan, 'Arms and Oil in the Middle East: A Biography of Research'

During the late 1980s, we printed a series of working papers, offering a new approach to the political economy of Israel and wars in the Middle East. Our approach in these papers rested on three new concepts. It started by identifying the Weapondollar-Petrodollar Coalition – an alliance of armament firms, oil companies and financial institutions Continue Reading

No. 2017/03: Fix, 'Evidence for a Power Theory of Personal Income Distribution'

This paper proposes a new ‘power theory’ of personal income distribution. Contrary to the standard assumption that income is proportional to productivity, I hypothesize that income is most strongly determined by social power, as indicated by one’s position within an institutional hierarchy. While many theorists have proposed a connection between personal income and power, this paper is the Continue Reading

No. 2017/01: Cochrane, 'Differentiating Diamonds'

In 1939, the De Beers diamond company faced a dire situation. The company’s accumulation had been dwindling for decades. The Great Depression not only pushed diamond sales to historic lows, it shifted American attitudes around consumption and thriftiness to the detriment of the luxury object. In this article, I bring together Liz McFall’s assertion that Continue Reading

Trump, US Public Debt, and the Future of Global Financial Power

The following post is based loosely on my presentation at the first annual Thammasat University-Conference for Asia Pacific Studies in Phuket, Thailand (8-9 December 2016).  What a difference a few months makes. This past summer I published a piece in the European Journal of International Relations on the role of US Treasury securities as the Continue Reading

No. 2016/6: Pitts, 'Capital as Power in the Creative Industries'

Using Nitzan and Bichler’s understanding of the dissonant relationship between creativity and power and business and industry, this paper investigates the rhythms of freelance creative work. It reports findings from interviews conducted with freelancers working in the Dutch creative industries. The findings suggest that freelancers enjoy more responsibility and autonomy than formal employees. But this autonomy represents a risk that Continue Reading

No. 2016/5: Cochrane, "Disobedient Things"

Analysis of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the accumulatory decline of BP demonstrates both the analytical efficacy of the capital-as-power (CasP) approach to value theory, and the irreducible role of objects in the process of accumulation. Rather than productivity per se, accumulation depends on control of productivity. Owners’ control is over both the human and Continue Reading

Sandy Brian Hager, A Global Bond: Explaining the Safe Haven Status of U.S. Treasury Securities

ABSTRACT This article offers new theoretical and empirical insights to explain the resilience of U.S. Treasury securities as the world’s premier safe or “risk free” asset. The standard explanation of resilience emphasizes the relative safety of U.S. Treasuries due to a shortage of safe assets in the global political economy. The analysis here goes beyond the standard explanation to highlight Continue Reading