Protecting the Game from the Players

June 7, 2016

In certain circles, Charlie Munger is a demi-god. He is the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company controlled by the god of markets himself, or rather, Warren Buffett. The words spoken and written by both Buffett and Munger are treated as divine insights on the way the world works or ought to work. Recently, Munger … Read More

Corporate Taxation and the Power Theory of Value

May 4, 2016

This is a (longer) draft version of an article that is under consideration for the newsletter of the Tax Justice Network: Tax Justice Focus.  Taxation is all about power. We are constantly reminded of this when flipping through any newspaper (or browsing any news website). The Panama Papers, the stuff of which front page headlines … Read More

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