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  • 1
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    s.l.: Forum on Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism
    Publication Date: 2018-06-22
    Description: The U.S. stock market is again in turmoil. After a two-year bull run in which share prices soared by nearly 50 per cent, the market is suddenly dropping. Since the beginning of 2018, it lost nearly 10 per cent of its value, threatening investors with an official ‘correction’ or worse. As always, there is no shortage of explanations. Politically inclined analysts emphasize Trump’s recently announced trade wars, sprawling scandals and threatening investigations, as well as the broader turn toward ‘populism’; interest-rate forecasters point to central-bank tightening and china’s negative credit impulse; quants speak of breached support lines and death crosses; bottom-up analysts highlight the negative implications of the Face-book/Cambridge Analytica debacle for the ‘free-data’ business model; and top-down fundamentalists indicate that, at near-record valuations, the stock market is a giant bubble ready to be punctured. And on the face of it, these explanations all ring true. They articulate various threats to future profits, interest rates and risk perceptions, and since equity prices discount expected risk-adjusted future earnings, these threats imply lower prices. But there is one little problem. Unlike their pundits, capitalists nowadays tend to look not forward, but backward: instead of matching asset prices to the distant future, they fit them to the immediate past.
    Keywords: P16 ; G01 ; ddc:330 ; asset pricing ; capitalization ; capitalized power ; major bear markets ; stock market ; systemic fear
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
    Type: doc-type:workingPaper
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  • 2
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    Jerusalem and Montreal: The Bichler and Nitzan Archives
    Publication Date: 2018-07-03
    Description: Las teorías convencionales del capitalismo están sumidas en una profunda crisis: tras siglos de debates todavía son incapaces de decirnos qué es el capital. Tanto liberales como marxistas se refieren al capital como una entidad ‘económica’ que puede ser contabilizada en unidades universales de ‘utilidad’ o de ‘trabajo abstracto’. Pero estas unidades son totalmente ficticias. Nadie ha sido capaz de observarlas ni medirlas, y esto por una buena razón: no existen. Y dado que liberalismo y marxismo dependen de estas unidades inexistentes, sus teorías están suspendidas en el aire. No pueden explicar el proceso que más importa: la acumulación de capital. Este libro ofrece una alternativa radical. De acuerdo con los autores, el capital no es una entidad económica estrechamente identificable, sino una cuantificación simbólica del poder. Tiene poco que ver con la utilidad o el trabajo abstracto, y se extiende más allá de las máquinas y las líneas de producción. El capital, afirman Bichler y Nitzan, representa el poder organizado de los grupos del capital dominante para reconfigurar –o creordenar– su sociedad. Escrito en un lenguaje simple, accesible a lectores neófitos y expertos, este libro desarrolla una economía política novedosa. Conduce al lector a través de la historia, los supuestos y las limitaciones de la economía dominante y sus teorías políticas asociadas, examina la evolución del pensamiento marxista sobre la acumulación y el Estado, y articula una innovadora teoría del ‘capital como poder’, así como una nueva historia del ‘modo de poder capitalista’.
    Description: Conventional theories of capitalism are mired in a deep crisis: after centuries of debate, they are still unable to tell us what capital is. Liberals and Marxists both think of capital as an 'economic' entity that they count in universal units of ‘utils’ or 'abstract labour', respectively. But these units are totally fictitious. Nobody has ever been able to observe or measure them, and for a good reason: they don’t exist. Since liberalism and Marxism depend on these non-existing units, their theories hang in suspension. They cannot explain the process that matters most – the accumulation of capital. This book offers a radical alternative. According to the authors, capital is not a narrow economic entity, but a symbolic quantification of power. It has little to do with utility or abstract labour, and it extends far beyond machines and production lines. Capital, the authors claim, represents the organized power of dominant capital groups to reshape – or creorder – their society. Written in simple language, accessible to lay readers and experts alike, the book develops a novel political economy. It takes the reader through the history, assumptions and limitations of mainstream economics and its associated theories of politics. It examines the evolution of Marxist thinking on accumulation and the state. And it articulates an innovative theory of 'capital as power and a new history of the 'capitalist mode of power'.
    Keywords: P16 ; ddc:330 ; capital as power ; corporation ; differential accumulation ; dominant capital ; finance ; inflation ; capitalization ; value theory ; modes of power ; mergers and acquisitions ; sabotage ; stagflation ; profit ; state ; redistribution ; power
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: Spanish
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-12-05
    Description: As these lines are being written (April 2018), the The U.S. stock market is again in turmoil. After a two-year bull run in which share prices soared by nearly 50 per cent, the market is suddenly dropping. Since the beginning of 2018, it lost nearly 10 per cent of its value, threatening investors with an official ‘correction’ or worse. As always, there is no shortage of explanations. Politically inclined analysts emphasize Trump’s recently announced trade wars, sprawling scandals and threatening investigations, as well as the broader turn toward ‘populism’; interest-rate forecasters point to central-bank tightening and china’s negative credit impulse; quants speak of breached support lines and death crosses; bottom-up analysts highlight the negative implications of the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica debacle for the ‘free-data’ business model; and top-down fundamentalists indicate that, at near-record valuations, the stock market is a giant bubble ready to be punctured. And on the face of it, these explanations all ring true. They articulate various threats to future profits, interest rates and risk perceptions, and since equity prices discount expected risk-adjusted future earnings, these threats imply lower prices. But there is one little problem. Unlike their pundits, capitalists nowadays tend to look not forward, but backward: instead of matching asset prices to the distant future, they fit them to the immediate past.
    Keywords: G01 ; G17 ; P16 ; ddc:330 ; asset pricing ; capitalization ; capitalized power ; major bear markets ; stock market ; systemic crisis ; systemic fear
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 4
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    Jerusalem and Montreal: The Bichler & Nitzan Archives
    Publication Date: 2018-09-18
    Description: הדברים הבאים נכתבו ב-2007 כטיוטה שטרם נסתיימה. במקורם, הם היו אמורים להיות ראשיתו של מאמר שיתאר את סופרי "המלחמה הגדולה", מלחמת-העולם הראשונה, אלה שכתבו עליה כחיילים, כנפגעים, כפליטים או כמשקיפים. אלא שהמאמר הלך והסתלסל ויצא לדרכים חדשות עד שקיבל חיים משלו. מכל מקום, הוא לא נכתב כסקירה אקדמית בעלת יומרות תיאורטיות, אלא כמעגלי זרימה מתחברים, ערבסקות של מחשבות וצלליות חומקות המשתלבות למבנה רופף שמתגלה ונעלם. העבודה על המאמר, שהיה אמור להיות רחב בהיקפו, לא הסתיימה, וכנראה לא נשוב אליו עוד. ואף על פי כן מצאנו עניין בפרסומו כפי שהוא בתוספת כמה הבהרות והערות
    Keywords: ddc:330 ; academia ; literature ; research ; science ; war
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: Hebrew
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  • 5
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    Toronto, Ontario: The Bichler and Nitzan Archives
    Publication Date: 2017-05-18
    Description: ¿Qué quieren decir los economistas cuando hablan de “acumulación de capital'? La respuesta es todo, menos clara. La opinión convencional es que hay dos tipos de capital: real y financiero, que deben guardar correspondencia y que, infortunadamente, la mayoría de las veces no se corresponden, pues el crecimiento del capital financiero tiende a desajustarse y a distorsionar la acumulación de capital real. El artículo muestra que esta “tesis del desajuste” y, por tanto, la capacidad de los economistas para explicar la acumulación, se construyó sobre bases deleznables. Argumenta que no pueden medir el capital real y que las proxies que elaboran con ese propósito los enreda en circularidades lógicas e imposibilidades empíricas.
    Keywords: ddc:330 ; capital accumulation ; finance ; Marxism ; measurement ; neoclassical economics ; real-nominal duality ; Tobin’s Q
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: Spanish
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  • 6
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    Toronto, Ontario: The Bichler and Nitzan Archives
    Publication Date: 2017-05-18
    Description: THE MISMATCH THESIS: What do economists mean when they talk about "capital accumulation"? Surprisingly, the answer to this question is anything but clear, and it seems the most unclear in times of turmoil. Consider the "financial crisis" of the late 2000s. The very term already attests to the presumed nature and causes of the crisis, which most observers indeed believe originated in the financial sector and was amplified by pervasive financialization. However, when theorists speak about a financial crisis, they don’t speak about it in isolation. They refer to finance not in and of itself, but in relation to the so-called real capital stock. The recent crisis, they argue, happened not because of finance as such, but due to a mismatch between financial and real capital. The world of finance, they complain, has deviated from and distorted the real world of accumulation. According to the conventional script, this mismatch commonly appears as a "bubble", a recurring disease that causes finance to inflate relative to reality. The bubble itself, much like cancer, develops stealthily. It is extremely hard to detect, and as long as it’s growing, nobody – save a few prophets of doom – seems able to see it. It is only after the market has crashed and the dust has settled that, suddenly, everybody knows it had been a bubble all along. Now, bubbles, like other deviations, distortions and mismatches, are born in sin. They begin with "the public" being too greedy and "policy makers" too lax; they continue with "irrational exuberance" that conjures up fictitious wealth out of thin air; and they end with a financial crisis, followed by recession, mounting losses and rising unemployment – a befitting punishment for those who believed they could trick Milton Friedman into giving them a free lunch. This "mismatch thesis" – the notion of a reality distorted by finance – is broadly accepted. In 2009, The Economist of London accused its readers of confusing "financial assets with real ones", singling out their confusion as the root cause of the brewing crisis. Real assets, or wealth, the magazine explained, consist of “goods and products we wish to consume" or of "things that give us the ability to produce more of what we want to consume". Financial assets, by contrast, are not wealth; they are simply "claims on real wealth". To confuse the inflation of the latter for the expansion of the former is the surest recipe for disaster. The division between real wealth and financial claims on real wealth is a fundamental premise of political economy. This premise is accepted not only by liberal theorists, analysts and policymakers, but also by Marxists of various persuasions. And as we shall show below, it is a premise built on very shaky foundations. When liberals and Marxists say that there is a mismatch between financial and real capital, they are essentially making, explicitly or implicitly, three related claims: (1) that these are indeed separate entities; (2) that these entities should correspond to each other; and (3) that, in the actual world, they often do not. In what follows, we explain why these claims don’t hold water. To put it bluntly, neither liberals nor Marxists know how to compare real and financial capital, and the main reason is simple: they don’t know how to determine the magnitude of real capital to start with. The common, makeshift solution is to estimate this magnitude indirectly, by using the money price of capital goods – yet this doesn’t solve the problem either, since capital goods can have many prices and there is no way of knowing which of them, if any, is the “true" one. Last but not least, even if we turn a blind eye and allow for these logical impossibilities and empirical travesties to stand, the result is still highly embarrassing. As it turns out, financial accumulation not only deviates from and distorts real accumulation (or so we are told), it also follows an opposite trajectory. For more than two centuries, economists left and right have argued that capitalists – and therefore capitalism – thrive on "real investment" and the growth of "real capital". But as we shall see, in reality, the best time for capitalists is when their “real accumulation” tanks! . . .
    Keywords: ddc:330 ; capital accumulation ; finance ; Marxism ; measurement ; neoclassical economics ; real-nominal duality ; Tobin’s Q
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 7
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    Toronto, Ontario: The Bichler and Nitzan Archives
    Publication Date: 2017-05-18
    Description: In his 2014 article, 'Food Price Inflation as Redistribution', Joseph Baines shows the intimate correspondence between differential profit and world hunger. But the capitalization of food is a dialectical process. As Michael Harrington noted more than half a century ago in his seminal book 'The Other America', the other side of affluence is poverty; and among the American poor, the other side of hunger is overweight and obesity. Over the next fifty years, the global proportion of undernourished people has diminished while that of the obese has risen; and since the early 2000s, for the first time in history, the obese have outnumbered the undernourished. How has this remarkable hunger-to-obesity transformation evolved? What forms of capital drive the obesity epidemic, including its counter-movements of anti-obesity drugs, non-communicable disease treatments, diets, surgical fixes and psychological interventions? What are the material/ideal technologies that shift the world toward ever more destructive yet profitable forms of mass overfeeding? What policies and legislation have supported this shift, and how have they been imposed on the world’s population? And most importantly, what are the qualitative and quantitative links, if any, between these various strategies of sabotage on the one hand and differential profit and capitalization on the other?
    Keywords: ddc:330 ; capitalization ; food ; hunger ; obesity
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 8
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    Toronto, Ontario: The Bichler and Nitzan Archives
    Publication Date: 2017-05-18
    Description: The presidential election of Donald Trump has rekindled hopes for a U.S. recovery. The new president promises to ‘make America great again’, partly by creating many millions of new jobs for U.S. workers, and judging by the rising stock market, capitalists seem to love his narrative. But if Trump actually delivers on his promise, their attitude is likely to change radically. In our 2016 paper, ‘A CasP Model of the Stock Market’, we developed the concept of a ‘CasP policy cycle’, the idea that government policy, insofar as it caters to the imperative of capitalized power, favours low employment growth in order to enable low rates of interest and sustain the capitalist share of income. Should Trump proceeds with and succeeds in reversing this CasP policy cycle, his authoritarianism may end up undermining rather than boosting capitalized power. In this sense, his regime could well mark the beginning of the next major bear market.
    Keywords: ddc:330 ; Donald Trump ; Iron Heel ; major bear market ; stock market ; strategic sabotage
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 9
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    s.l.: Forum on Capital As Power - Toward a New Cosmology of Capitalism
    Publication Date: 2017-11-30
    Description: The study of capital as power (CasP) began when we were students in the 1980s and has since expanded into a broader project involving a growing number of researchers and new areas of inquiry. This paper provides a bird’s-eye view of the CasP journey. It explores what we have learned so far, reviews ongoing research, and suggests future trajectories – including the coevolution of Concepts of Power–Modes of Power (COP-MOPs); the origins of capitalized power; the state of capital; finance as the symbolic creordering of capitalism; the role of labour, production and waste; the capitalized environment; and the need for post-capitalist accounting.
    Keywords: ddc:330 ; capital as power ; capitalist mode of power
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: English
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  • 10
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    Toronto: The Bichler & Nitzan Archives
    Publication Date: 2018-01-08
    Description: SPANISH ABSTRACT: La mayoría de las explicaciones de las alzas y bajas del mercado de valores se basan en la comparación de la lógica “fundamental” subyacente de la economía con los factores exógenos que supuestamente la distorsionan. Este artículo presenta un modelo radicalmente distinto, y examina el mercado de valores desde la perspectiva del poder capitalizado y no desde el punto de vista de una economía distorsionada. El modelo demuestra que la valoración de acciones representa poder capitalizado, que el poder capitalizado está entrelazado al temor sistémico, y que estos dos elementos son mediados por el sabotaje estratégico. Este modelo triangular ofrece una base para examinar los límites del poder capitalizado y su relación con la transformación histórica y actual del modo de poder capitalista.
    Description: Translated from the English by Alberto Supelano.
    Description: ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Most explanations of stock market booms and busts are based on contrasting the underlying ‘fundamental’ logic of the economy with the exogenous, non-economic factors that presumably distort it. Our paper offers a radically different model, examining the stock market not from the mechanical viewpoint of a distorted economy, but from the dialectical perspective of capitalized power. The model demonstrates that (1) the valuation of equities represents capitalized power; (2) capitalized power is dialectically intertwined with systemic fear; and (3) systemic fear and capitalized power are mediated through strategic sabotage. This triangular model, we posit, can offer a basis for examining the asymptotes, or limits, of capitalized power and the ways in which these asymptotes relate to the historical and ongoing transformation of the capitalist mode of power.
    Keywords: ddc:330 ; capital as power ; crisis ; mismatch thesis ; stock market ; strategic sabotage ; systemic fear ; valuation
    Repository Name: EconStor: OA server of the German National Library of Economics - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics
    Language: Spanish
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