Profits and Terror in Argentina in the 1970s

February 21, 2015

New data on the profitability of Argentina’s largest corporations help explain the origins of its last military dictatorship. During Argentina’s military dictatorship of 1976-1983, up to 30,000 people were killed by the armed forces. Figure 1 provides an indication of why.

Differential Taxation: A Convergence of Interests between American Banking and Government

February 13, 2015

Recommended reading by the Transnational Institute (TNI) of Policy Studies: This paper demonstrates that the interests of American banking and government have converged since the early 1980s and relates this trend to modern financial deregulation, revealing a symbiosis that would later influence the global financial crisis of 2007-2008. An examination of corporate profit and taxation … Read More

Stock Buybacks vs Greenfield Investment

December 10, 2014

In his November 29, 2013 piece, ‘Low Capex, High Market Cap: A New High for Corporate Sabotage?’, Edward Lam lends support to CasP’s sabotage thesis by showing how firms with relatively low ‘greenfield’ investment outperform those with relatively high ‘greenfield’ investment. A recent FT article, titled “Money Well Spent?” (Tom Braithwaite, Nicole Bullock and Michael … Read More

The Rise and Fall of Debate in Economics

December 10, 2014

 New data illustrate the extent to which economists have stopped discussing each other’s work. Once upon a time, economists regularly used to publicly criticise each other’s work in academic journals. But not any more. In Figure 1 I have illustrated the degree to which economists have stopped debating. The data have been culled from Jstor, the online database of … Read More

The Oil Price: Differential Accumulation and Punishing One’s Rivals

November 27, 2014

According to some forecasters the price of oil might hit $75 a barrel soon. Goldman Sachs has even predicted a $70 barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) in 2015. If the price does drop this low it will be a dramatic change from the recent status quo; a relatively stable, higher price of over 90 … Read More

Accumulatory Struggles in the Labratory

November 18, 2014

A systemic review [PDF] of systemic reviews of scientific literature on the relationship between sugar and obesity found, unsurprisingly, that there is bias in the reviews conducted on behalf of the sugar business. The review’s conclusion reads: “Financial conflicts of interest may bias conclusions from SRs [systemic reviews] on SSB [sugar-sweetened beverages] consumption and weight … Read More

Capital as Power and Freelance Creative Work 4

November 17, 2014

Resonance and dissonance in the rhythms of freelance creative work In the last blog, I applied some of Nitzan and Bichler’s ideas to freelance work in the creative industries. I utilised their conceptualisation of the distinction between creativity and power, and of the sabotage of the former by the latter. Nitzan and Bichler describe the … Read More

Capital as Power and Freelance Creative Work 3

October 31, 2014

Creativity, sabotage and the management of risk and responsibility in freelance creative work Nitzan and Bichler theorise a dissonant relation of sabotage between power and creativity, business and industry. What they show is that the control of creative processes of production is not antithetical to their success. Rather, it is constitutive of this success in … Read More