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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“Perhaps economic historians can make a better contribution by ensuring the past is not abused in debates about modern-day crises. For instance, putting all the blame on Wall Street for the Great Depression—or on bankers in the current crisis—does not stand up to historical scrutiny. The responsibility may more properly lie in a complex combination of factors, like how global financial systems are structured. But this still needs be interpreted from modern day evidence rather than in over-simplistic “lessons” from the past. As the Irish economic historian Cormac Ó Gráda once wrote, “shattering dangerous myths about the past is the historian’s social responsibility”. Such sentiments should apply to the Great Depression as much as they do any other episode in history.”
Por este medio les hacemos llegar una copia digital de un artículo publicado en el blog "Free Exchange" de la revista The Economist sobre la historia económica de la Gran Depresión.
Vocal de la mesa directiva de la AMHE, 2013-2016
C., R. (2013), ‘Economic history. What can we learn from the Great Depression?’, Free Exchange (2013; London: The Economist). Accessed November 16 2013. <http://www.economist.com/node/21589497>
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On International Policy Coordination
The NEP-HIS Blog
International Policy Coordination: The Long View
Barry Eichengreen (email@example.com), University of California at Berkeley (United States)
Abstract: This paper places current efforts at international economic policy coordination in historical perspective. It argues that successful cooperation is most likely in four sets of circumstances. First, when it centers on technical issues. Second, when cooperation is institutionalized – when procedures and precedents create presumptions about the appropriate conduct of policy and reduce the transactions costs of reaching an agreement. Third, when it is concerned with preserving an existing set of policies and behaviors (when it is concerned with preserving a policy regime). Fourth, when it occurs in the context of broad comity among nations. These points are elaborated through a review of 150 years of historical experience and then used to assess the scope for cooperative responses to the current economic crisis.
Review by:Manuel Bautista González
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Until the late 19th century nine out of ten humans across the world made use of multiple systems of money in everyday life. The importance of small denomination coinage, the imaginary usage of silver by weight, and the prevalence of local paper monies in East Asia show that, depending on the situation, money worked in complementary ways rather than substitutive. Economists, anthropologist, numismatist and historians, whose research covers Asia, Africa, the Americas and Europe will discuss this issue and help to explore why it is that a single unified currency cannot ever dominate the entire world.
via CEAS | Events.
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.
I had to translate more diagrams and graphs from Nueva Historia de las Grandes Crisis Financieras, the book Carlos Marichal (my advisor in Mexico) published in 2011. These images will be part of his lecture on the history of major financial crises at the Paul Bairoch Institute of Economic History. Someone could find them useful, but please don’t forget to provide the adequate bibliographic information. Enjoy.