Post by: Tony Norfield

EconoFiction

Finance, Imperialism and Profits

12 Nov , 2018  

Last Friday I took part in a panel to launch a new book, World in Crisis: A Global Analysis of Marx’s Law of Profitability, published by Haymarket Books, edited by Michael Roberts and Guglielmo Carchedi. The presentation was at this year’s Historical Materialism conference in London.

My presentation was ...

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EconoFiction

Bitcoin: a Digital Alternative?

11 Apr , 2018  

I first paid little attention to Bitcoin, thinking that there are probably more Elvis Presley impersonators than there are people in the world who have traded or owned it. But seeing that central banks have issued policy statements on Bitcoin, that the FBI has ‘seized’ Bitcoin assets used by drug ...

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EconoFiction

Value of Labour-Power, Wages, Productivity and Imperialism

10 Apr , 2018  

These are notes from, and for, a series of discussions on imperialism organised by Redline. (See here for other details) As such, they are not a fully rounded analysis, just some guidance on points in these debates.

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A key point to note is that the discussion of these topics ...

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EconoFiction

Index of Power

30 Mrz , 2018  

The following chart gives a snapshot of the top 20 countries, ranked by their index of power in the world economy. Readers of this blog or my book, The City, will have seen this concept before,[1] but here the information is updated to 2016-17.

Index of Power, 2016-17

Notes: The ...

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EconoFiction

Google Eyed

11 Okt , 2017  

The Hoover Company’s vacuum cleaners once so dominated its market that people often still describe using any make of vacuum cleaner as ‘hoovering up’. Similarly, people ‘Google’ information from the Internet, even if they do not use Google. The only difference is that Google’s dominance of the Internet search market ...

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EconoFiction

Facebook’s Advertising Machine

7 Sep , 2017  

When Mark Zuckerberg is interviewed, the founder of Facebook can barely put a sentence together without using the word ‘connect’. This looks like a case of Tourette’s syndrome that spouts business buzz words not curses. But it is based on his understanding of the source of his company’s revenues and ...

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EconoFiction

Amazon: Becoming the Market

28 Jul , 2017  

Amazon’s business operations highlight many of the paradoxes of modern imperialism. It provides an efficient delivery of a wide range of goods and services to satisfied customers, but the workers involved in the process are stretched to the limit, and businesses competing with them are liable to come off badly, ...

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EconoFiction

Saudi Arabia and Imperialism

27 Jun , 2017  

Saudi Arabia has been a major player in Middle East politics. It backed the 2013 overthrow of the Moslem Brotherhood in Egypt, since the example of an elected government of a major country next door was not welcome to the Saudi family autocracy. It has suppressed Shia-based protests in Bahrain ...

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EconoFiction

Derivatives and Capitalist Markets: The Speculative Heart of Capital

20 Feb , 2017  

… Conclusions

The growth of derivatives-trading in the past decade or so was facilitated by changes in government-regulation. But the fundamental reasons why derivatives-trading exploded have more to do with the attempts by banks, finance-companies and corporations to boost their flagging profitability and revenues. ‘Financial innovation’ was an easier way ...

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EconoFiction, Lexicon

Finance, Economics and Politics

19 Sep , 2016  

The financial system accentuates all the absurdities of capitalism, but it does this in a way that can make finance appear to be separate from the capitalist economy, rather than an inevitable outgrowth from it. Almost every observer of capitalism makes a distinction between the ‘real’ and the ‘financial’ economy. ...

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