Category Archives: Economics

Piketty and Marx: Or, why no one needs to read anything

The Charnel-House

Less than a week ago, Jacobin magazine enumerated a list of nine canned responses criticizing the French neo-Keynesian economist Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Zachary Levenson gave us the guide for “How to Write a Marxist Critique of Thomas Piketty without Actually Reading the Book.” It ranges between Marx and Piketty’s radically different conceptions of capital to the latter’s conflation of derivatives stemming from finance and industry. “Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a long book,” Levenson writes, sympathizing with his readers, “and you just don’t have time in your busy schedule to finish it and formulate a materialist critique.” Don’t worry, he urges, “we’ve got you covered.”

No doubt: there’s plenty of truth to such a list, conceived as it is in parody. Many self-proclaimed Marxists are quite eager to dismiss the latest fad in social liberal economic thought, and counterpose the trenchant historical critique…

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The Network of Global Corporate Control

The Network of Global Corporate Control

In detail, nearly 4/10 of the control over the economic value of transnational corporations (TNCs) in the world is held, via a complicated web of ownership relations, by a group of 147 TNCs in the core, which has almost full control over itself. The top holders within the core can thus be thought of as an economic “super-entity” in the global network of corporations. A relevant additional fact at this point is that 75% of the core are financial intermediaries.”

via PLoS ONE: The Network of Global Corporate Control.

Aside

Lord Robert Skidelsky on the pertinence of studying economic history in undergraduate teaching of economics: The most important steps to improve the training of young economists would be to make economic history and the history of economic thought compulsory in … Continue reading