Transportation, Markets and Externalities

August 19, 2013

The Brazilian government is due to spend R$200 billion (US$84 billion) on its ports, airports, railroads and roads over the next two years. This spending highlights the impossibility of separating ‘politics’ from the ‘economy,’ as it is meant to reduce transportation costs, an important – and often overlooked – component of production, distribution and consumption. … Read more

The Price of Human Life

August 16, 2013

This American Life is a great public radio show based out of Chicago. They just hit their 500th episode and to celebrate, Ira Glass talked with his other producers about favourite past episodes. Alex Blumberg, one of the producers of Planet Money, reflected on a particular co-production with This American Life. All the way back in … Read more

Markets and Inequality

August 16, 2013

In the August 16 issue of The Financial Times, popularizing economics writer Tim Harford joined the chorus of voices raising the issue of income inequality. He asked whether or not we should care that the income gap is widening. He suggested there are two reasons we might care: process and outcome. On the process, Harford … Read more

Mediating the Intra-capitalist Struggle

August 14, 2013

U.S. regulators have subpoenaed powerhouses of financial intermediation, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, as part of a probe into metal warehousing. Two companies identified with the supposedly ephemeral world of finance are being called to answer questions as owners of the decidedly concrete warehouses used to store aluminum. The investigation is being conducted by the … Read more

Decapitalization of the human genome

June 13, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that pieces of the human gene cannot be patented. The ruling invalidated two high profile cancer detection patents awarded to Myriad Genetics (MYGN). The ruling upheld the patenting of synthetic DNA. This partial decapitalization of the human genome showed up as decumulation by the company. Compared to the one … Read more

The language of capitalism

June 13, 2013

In a Guardian op-ed, Doreen Massey explains how neoliberalism has altered the way we think and talk about the economy. While the general point is correct, the issue is much more fundamental than neoliberal ideology. The extent of the problem can be seen in the essay’s slugline: We should scrutinise the everyday language that shapes … Read more

Radiolab: Nanoseconds on the Market

June 3, 2013

The second part of this episode of Radiolab talks about the importance of nanoseconds when it comes to profitably making trades. The importance of this small difference led to a land grab as traders tried to get as close to the NYSE’s physical trading floor, since each foot of fiber optic cable between the trader … Read more

The Buy-to-Build Indicator: New Estimates and Comment

June 3, 2013

This note presents new long-term estimates of what Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler (2002: 53-4, 82-3; 2009: Ch.15) have named the ‘buy-to-build indicator’, which is calculated as the value of mergers and acquisitions as a percentage of gross capital formation. Estimating the buy-to-build indicators is not simple, principally due to the absence of consistent series for expenditure on mergers and acquisitions. Nevertheless, … Read more

Protest and gold deccumulation

June 2, 2013

Activists confronted Barrick Gold CEO Peter Monk and shareholders at the company’s annual meeting. A Globe & Mail article suggested: “The long term outlook for Barrick shares hinges on many factors: the gold price is obviously the biggest driver, but the company also faces vociferous opposition from environmentalists and many residents around its mine sites, … Read more