McMahon, ‘Selling Hollywood to China’

Abstract From the 1980s to the present, Hollywood’s major distributors have been able to redistribute U.S. theatrical attendance to the advantage of their biggest blockbusters and franchises. At the global scale and during the same period, Hollywood has been leveraging U.S. foreign power to break ground in countries that have historically protected and supported their […]

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Baines & Hager, ‘The Great Debt Divergence and its Implications for the Covid-19 Crisis: Mapping Corporate Leverage as Power’

Abstract The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified longstanding concerns about mounting levels of corporate debt in the United States. This article places the current conjuncture in its historical context, analysing corporate indebtedness against the backdrop of increasing corporate concentration. Theorising leverage as a form of power, we find that the leverage of large non-financial firms increased […]

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Fix, ‘Energy and Institution Size’

Abstract Why do institutions grow? Despite nearly a century of scientific effort, there remains little consensus on this topic. This paper offers a new approach that focuses on energy consumption. A systematic relation exists between institution size and energy consumption per capita: as energy consumption increases, institutions become larger. I hypothesize that this relation results […]

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Bichler & Nitzan, ‘A CasP Model of the Stock Market’

Abstract Most explanations of stock market booms and busts are based on contrasting the underlying ‘fundamental’ logic of the economy with the exogenous, non-economic factors that presumably distort it. Our paper offers a radically different model, examining the stock market not from the mechanical viewpoint of a distorted economy, but from the dialectical perspective of […]

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No. 2016/07: Bichler & Nitzan, ‘A CasP Model of the Stock Market’

Abstract Most explanations of stock market booms and busts are based on contrasting the underlying ‘fundamental’ logic of the economy with the exogenous, non-economic factors that presumably distort it. Our paper offers a radically different model, examining the stock market not from the mechanical viewpoint of a distorted economy, but from the dialectical perspective of […]

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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 […]

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Hager, ‘Public Debt, Inequality, and Power: The Making of a Modern Debt State’

Abstract Who are the dominant owners of US public debt? Is it widely held, or concentrated in the hands of a few? Does ownership of public debt give these bondholders power over our government? What do we make of the fact that foreign-owned debt has ballooned to nearly 50 percent today? Until now, we have […]

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Francis, Bichler & Nitzan, ‘The Buy-to-Build Indicator: An Exchange’

Abstract The first part of the exchange is a short article by Joe Francis. The article provides new long-term estimates and an assessment of the buy-to-build indicator for the United States and Britain, going back to the end of the 19th century. The second part offers commentary by Shimshon Bichler and Jonathan Nitzan. Citation The […]

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Bichler & Nitzan, ‘No Way Out: Crime, Punishment and the Capitalization of Power’

Abstract The United States is often hailed as the world’s largest ‘free market’. But this ‘free market’ is also the world’s largest penal colony. It holds over seven million adults – roughly five per cent of the labour force – in jail, in prison, on parole and on probation. Is this an anomaly, or does […]

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Hager, ‘What Happened to the Bondholding Class? Public Debt, Power and the Top One Per Cent’

Abstract In 1887 Henry Carter Adams produced a study demonstrating that the ownership of government bonds was heavily concentrated in the hands of a ‘bondholding class’ that lent to and, in Adams’s view, controlled the government like dominant shareholders control a corporation. The interests of this bondholding class clashed with the interests of the masses, […]

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The Buy-to-Build Indicator: New Estimates for Britain and the United States

The Buy-­to-­Build Indicator New Estimates for Britain and the United States JOSEPH A. FRANCIS October 2013 Abstract This note presents new long-term estimates of what Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler have named the ‘buy-­to-­build indicator’, which is calculated as the value of mergers and acquisitions as a percentage of gross capital formation. Keywords Britain, buy-to-build […]

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Francis’ Buy-to-Build Estimates for Britain and the United States: A Comment

Francis’ Buy-to-Build Estimates for Britain and the United States A Comment SHIMSHON BICHLER and JONATHAN NITZAN October 2013 Abstract Comments on Francis’ new estimates of the buy-to-build indicator for the United States and Britain. These estimates offer a welcome correction, modifications and additions to the U.S. numbers that we first presented in 1999 and later […]

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