Kevin O’Leary, the Distillation of Capital

April 1, 2014

Television personality Kevin O’Leary is best known as the ‘asshole’ on the investment reality shows Dragon’s Den, in Canada, and Shark Tank, in the United States. The shows have self-styled entrepreneurs bring forth their inventions or business ideas in hopes of attracting investment from a panel of capitalists, which includes O’Leary. He has established himself … Read more

The Weekly Sabotage: Week 6

March 5, 2014

The Capitalization of Money Creation: The Greatest Sabotage in Human History? Every year in my course on Political Economy in the New Millennium I ask my students to do an exercise.  The task is for them to ask three members of their friends or family how money is created.  As you can imagine, the answers … Read more

How sincere is Mr. Kerry about climate change?

February 27, 2014

Speaking to students in Jakarta, Indonesia, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, declared a few days ago that climate change is the world’s “most fearsome” weapon of mass destruction. Likening climate change to terrorism, Kerry stated that “It doesn’t keep us safe if the United States secures its nuclear arsenal while other countries fail to … Read more

What Should I Read?

February 25, 2014

Over at Heterodox Microeconomics Research Network they have a thorough list of academic publications that are relevant to heterodox theories of capitalism. The list covers the following subjects: 1. History and Methodology of Heterodox Microeconomics 2. Critiques of Mainstream Microeconomics 3. Principles of Heterodox Microeconomic Theory 4. Theory of the Business Enterprise 5. Structure of Production … Read more

US Department of Justice Increasingly Resorts to “Private” Negotiations

February 13, 2014

Since 2012, the U.S Department of Justice has launched a series of private negotiations with Wall Street banks relating to their involvement in the 2008 financial crisis. The DoJ made headlines this November when it struck a record $13b settlement with JP Morgan for allegations of fraud in the sale of mortgage-backed securities. The deal … Read more

The President and the Tech Giants

February 4, 2014

In an interesting piece for the Financial Times, Christopher Caldwell assesses Obama’s declaration to ‘go it alone’ in light of the ‘obstructionist Republican agenda’ in the US Congress. In a recent State of the Union address, Obama pledged a year of action, one that would see the president push for major policy reforms with or without congressional support. The passing of … Read more

The Weekly Sabotage: Week 5

February 3, 2014

The Constitution of the United States of America It is by now fairly clear that the Congress of the United States is a ‘do-nothing’ Congress populated by 268 millionaires (out of 534 lawmakers).   The job approval rating, depending on which poll we consider, hovers around 9-14%.  This is perhaps hardly surprising given that the Republican Party vowed to sabotage Democratic and … Read more

The facade of smooth operations

January 14, 2014

Toronto’s Pearson Airport was recently thrown into chaos when bad weather forced it to suspend ground operations. For eight hours, hundreds of flights scheduled to land and take-off were unable to do so. Condemnation of the airport authority was swift and harsh. The event revealed two facts about the airport as a productive entity: 1) … Read more

The discipline of capital

January 12, 2014

The title of this piece might make readers think of capitalist power over the masses. However, in this case, I’m thinking of how capital serves to discipline the decision-makers of capitalism. A recent Globe & Mail article discussed the desire of Canadian banks to keep the corporate bond market going. The banks serve as the … Read more

Brussels Business – A documentary about dominant capital and sabotage in the EU

January 12, 2014

Brussels Business is a documentary about the important role dominant capital has played in the shaping of the European Union from its early days. It explores the secretive activity of big business and lobbying organizations and the role they play in the origination and circulation of ideas and plans for the advancement of corporate interests … Read more

The Weekly Sabotage: Week 4

January 5, 2014

Royal Authority and Private Property Last week we considered the concept of ownership though the work of Veblen and Marx. We noted that the establishment and protection of private property involved the dispossession of the many by the few and that this tendency begins with the appropriation of humans (slavery) and land for private profit.  … Read more

hand bells

Competition and Cooperation in the World of Hand Bells

December 28, 2013

A recent episode of Planet Money describes a long running feud between two makers of hand bells. The story itself was interesting. However, two parts jumped out at me as relevant to CasP. The first was a comment by the host about how most people, when they hear of two companies fighting in court, assume … Read more