A poisonous concoction | Michael Roberts Blog

A poisonous concoction Crude oil prices have hit a seven-year low after last week’s decision in Vienna of OPEC, the oil cartel, not to put any limit on oil production next year. Demand for oil has slowed sharply and oil stocks have built up to a record 3bn barrels while oil tankers circle the waters around refineries in the US and Europe unable to unload because there is no demand. At the same time, the prices of important raw materials like iron ore and copper hit new lows. The transport of these resources in ‘bulk carriers has collapsed, as measured by …

You’re doing my head in: madness and me today

by Stevie Anderson Branch Chair Clydebank SSP You’re all bugging me, including me. I’m bugging me too. That’s a full stop there, not an exclamation. I’m not exclaiming anything. I’m saying it. Listen, don’t listen, it’s up to you. Much too much I can’t keep up, I can’t keep all this in my head, I can’t work it out, sort it, make it better, make it less painful, get it to make sense. I can’t do this. Stop. I’m not suicidal. Nor am I unwell, low, mad, not coping well or any of the other easy ways we find to …

Business as usual for Gideon and chums

Posted on November 25, 2015by sandrassp I have to give Gideon Osbourne credit where it is due. He is a master of the alchemy of economics. We expected today that more austerity would be piled on top of us, instead out of the cauldron he announced that the tax credit cuts were cancelled. Good news, but the reality is it is just business as usual. The tax credits cuts may be cancelled but that was going to happen anyway as the behemoth of Universal Credit rolls in by 2020. Gideon says there will still be cuts of 12 billion in …

Marxians and Marxists on economics

I continue my campaign, along with a small band of like minds, arguing that the ups and downs of real economic growth are driven by changes in business investment.  And, in a capitalist economy, that investment is driven by the level and movement in the profitability of capital and in the mass of profits generated by the workforce and appropriated by the owners of that capital.  To me, this seems a simple and realistic analysis: profit rules.  But this thesis is dismissed, ignored and rejected by mainstream, post-Keynesian and other ‘Marxian’ economists, Mainstream economists reckon economic growth comes from a growing …

Allan Grogan: All Just A Little Case of History Repeating

Sunday, 22 November 2015 Since I switched on the news last Friday night and saw the tragic events unfold in Paris, I have been trying to find a way to articulate my thoughts on the horror that made the extremism of ISIS all to real for us in the West, and the subsequent reactions all too worrisome for those who still remember the road to Baghdad. It is important before anything else is said, to reassert that the terror attacks which took place in Paris are abhorrent and beyond the rational thinking of any decent person who has any regard …

CHOOSE DEFIANCE – NOT DESTRUCTION!

Wednesday 18th November CHOOSE DEFIANCE – NOT DESTRUCTION! You couldn’t make it up! David Cameron, Tory MP for West Oxfordshire, recently wrote a letter to the Oxfordshire Tory council leader, berating his local authority for (to quote his epistle) “cuts to frontline services – from elderly day centres to libraries to museums. This is in addition to the unwelcome and counter-productive proposals to close children’s centres across the county”. The MP, claiming “shock and outrage”, goes on to demand why the council leader hasn’t looked at “back-office savings” – a euphemism for sacking council staff. Tory Tit-for-Tat The Tory council leader …

Keynes, Marx and the effect of QE | Michael Roberts Blog

Keynes, Marx and the effect of QE One of the interesting sessions at last weekend’s Historical Materialism conference (apart from my session, of course) was one on the work of Suzanne de Brunhoff. Brunhoff was a Marxist economist from the 1970s onwards who specialised in Marx’s theory of money and applying it to the conditions of modern capitalism.  She died this year.  There is no space to deal with her contributions here.  What I want to take up from the session was a presentation by Maria Ivanova of Goldsmiths University, London. Ivanova made some key observations about Marx’s theory of money, …