Why Diamonds and De Beers?, or The Need for Accumulation Studies

April 15, 2016

Preface. I successfully defended my dissertation in December. This served as the introductory presentation for the defence. In it, I explain what I tried to do with the dissertation, the methods I used, and the larger project I hope it is initiating. Specifically, I suggest there is a need for accumulation studies as a field … Read More

Social Change and the Bottom Line

April 14, 2016

The North Carolina legislature recently passed a law, widely known as the ‘Bathroom Bill,’ that bans anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgender people. The law has generated a lot of backlash from the general public and several high-profile musicians have cancelled scheduled appearances in the state. However, it is not just activists or celebrities who … Read More

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