From Global Oil Politics to Desire via Gas Prices

April 12, 2016

The Globe & Mail is reporting that the average fuel efficiency of new vehicles sold in 2014 dropped for the first time since 2011. The coverage suggests this is a response to falling prices at the gas pump. First, without access to the relevant data for a longer time period, it is difficult to know … Read more

The Panama Papers and the Topology of Power

April 5, 2016

Reportage of the Panama Papers, leaked documents from the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, is getting intense attention. The papers reveal the use of shell companies to shelter wealth on behalf of many high profile political figures. Debates have erupted about the meaning of the documents and what they reveal about the global elite. Some … Read more

Oil, Debt & Power: A New Crisis?

April 4, 2016

An op-ed on the advocacy website Oil Change International examines the high levels of debt within the oil business and the consequences of that debt for extraction. It postulates a dangerous positive feedback mechanism between extraction levels, oil prices and oil company debt. The basic argument is that in order to service their debt, the … Read more

Petrodollars and Profit: Rethinking Political Economy through the Middle East

December 24, 2015

Review by Max Ajl of Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bickler’s The Scientist and the Church. Originally published at Jadaliyya Howard Page, a director at what was then Exxon, was once asked, “What would have happened if Iraq production had also surged during the 1960’s,” like that of Saudi Arabia and Iran. He responded, “I admit … Read more

The Renminbi on the World Stage

December 1, 2015

The IMF recently announced that China’s currency, the CYN (Chinese Yuan Renminbi), would be included in the IMF’s basket of currencies, known as the SRD (special drawing rights). The designation comes after China adopted certain reforms in accordance with International Monetary Fund (IMF) policies. The CYN will comprise 11% of the basket, with reductions of … Read more

Is Hollywood running out of risk?

November 30, 2015

Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan Repost from Real-World Economics Review Blog If we are to believe the conventional creed, Hollywood films are highly risky investments. According to De Vany, revenue forecasts have zero precision, which is just a way of saying that ‘anything can happen’. . . . The ‘nobody knows’ principle . . . is revealed in the infinite … Read more

Some Important Limitations of Income Inequality Data

July 11, 2015

Blair Fix, a PhD student in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University in Toronto, points to some important limitations of income inequality data. In a recent posting on capitalaspower.com, Fix shows that, in the case of the U.S., the Top 1% income share correlates not with the share of capitalists in national income (profit … Read more

"The 1% and the Rest of Us" — Tom Mills Interviews Tim Di Muzio

July 3, 2015

Tim DiMuzio is lecturer in International Relations and public policy University of Wollongong in Australia.  His book, The 1% and the Rest of Us: A Political Economy of Dominant Ownership, examines the insular lives of the global super rich, the socio-economic system they head, and their restless drive to dominate society and nature.  NLP’s Tom … Read more

Performing the Real-Nominal Bifurcation

May 11, 2015

The Globe & Mail recently published a roundup of seven analyses of the Canadian housing sector. All of the analyses took some position on whether or not housing in Canada is “overvalued.” The positions ranged from 60 percent overvalued to seven percent under-valued. Regardless of the position, all of the analyses – at least as … Read more

Patriarchy above the glass ceiling

April 28, 2015

The logic of accumulation is not the only logic that motivates capitalists. As fully actualized human beings, they remain complex in their desires. Rather, the logic of accumulation is dominant and, Nitzan and Bichler argue, pervasive and ascendant; increasingly operating beyond the business domain. However, the other logics, or principles of behaviour, that inform people’s … Read more

Profits and Terror in Argentina in the 1970s

February 21, 2015

New data on the profitability of Argentina’s largest corporations help explain the origins of its last military dictatorship. During Argentina’s military dictatorship of 1976-1983, up to 30,000 people were killed by the armed forces. Figure 1 provides an indication of why. The thick line is a ‘profit margin index’ of the fifty largest private manufacturing … Read more

Differential Taxation: A Convergence of Interests between American Banking and Government

February 13, 2015

Recommended reading by the Transnational Institute (TNI) of Policy Studies: This paper demonstrates that the interests of American banking and government have converged since the early 1980s and relates this trend to modern financial deregulation, revealing a symbiosis that would later influence the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. An examination of corporate profit and taxation … Read more