The Economy

The 1% and the 99%: Tiny Rich Elite Own Half the World's Wealth

monopoly-man-running-with-money-bagIn 2015, the rich are still getting richer and the poor are still getting poorer. This is the conclusion of a new report on inequality produced by Oxfam and based on data compiled by Credit Suisse. The report confirms that the richest 1% of the world’s population now collectively own 48% of all the wealth of the planet. By 2016, based on current trends, they will have over half—that is, more than the other 99% of us have put together.

World Economy: Capitalism Lurches From One Crisis to Another

latuff-fallen capital“Six years on from the financial crash that brought the world to its knees, red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy.” Such ominous statements may sound familiar to our regular readers. However, these words are not those of a Marxist, but of the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, who returned from a meeting of political leaders at the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, with deep concerns about the state of the world economy. As the fires of capitalist crisis spread and continue to ignite in one country after another, optimistic talk of recovery among the ruling class has given way to a more sober assessment of the situation—to an understanding that stagnation, decline, and crisis are the new normality under capitalism.

All Roads Lead to Manhattan

metronorthderailmentIn the run-up to the 13-year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, USA Today ran an article highlighting the susceptibility of New York City’s water crossings to terrorist attacks. It pointed mainly to the George Washington Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge as being the “holy grails of terrorist targets.” But these bridges, and indeed, the entire transportation system in the New York City area, are under attack on a daily basis from a much more insidious foe: the crisis of capitalism—and all the cuts and austerity that go with it.

Six Years After Lehman Brothers' Collapse—Another Stage in the Capitalist Crisis

fallencapital latuffSignor Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, has tried to call up spirits from the deep like the Shakespearean characters Glendower and Hotspur. "I will take whatever it takes," he said a few years ago. Such spirits were supposed to save the euro and restore growth. However, while the euro has stabilized, temporarily, the European crisis has certainly deepened. This time it is threatening to plunge the European Union into the nightmare of a Japanese-style deflation.

 

Piketty and Capital

pikettyA new book on economics has hit the stands and has been making waves in the national and international press, not least among economic commentators. Capital in the 21st Century, by the French economist Thomas Piketty, has been at or near the top of the bestsellers lists in the USA for some months and has elicited commentary from even the most unlikely sources. Most of the serious journals of capitalism have devoted an editorial to it at one point or another in the last few weeks.