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Articles by tom

Anti-China Fever in the US: a lethal contagious disease

4 days ago

Much of the United States (especially Washington, DC) is in the grip of a contagious lethal anti-China fever which is spreading fast. Even people I usually admire and respect have become infected. Reason and facts have lost all capacity to inoculate. Fortunately, I was sent a vaccine (that takes one minute to administer) which I …

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Financialization revisited: the economics and political economy of the vampire squid economy

23 days ago

This paper explores the economics and political economy of financialization using Matt Taibbi’s vampire squid metaphor to characterize it. The paper makes five innovations. First, it focuses on the mechanics of the “vampire squid” process whereby financialization rotates through the economy loading sector balance sheets with debt. Second, it identifies the critical role of government …

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Preparations for the “Next Afghanistan” have already begun

August 19, 2021

Now that the twenty year-long US military expedition to Afghanistan has ended in catastrophe, the US Neocon establishment has already begun preparations for the “Next Afghanistan”. That process begins with blaming Joe Biden and rewriting history. Thus, Richard Haas (President of the Council on Foreign Relations) writes in Project Syndicate: “Biden was recently asked if …

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Financialization revisited: the economics and political economy of the vampire squid economy

August 12, 2021

This paper explores the economics and political economy of financialization using Matt Taibbi’s vampire squid metaphor to characterize it. The paper makes five innovations. First, it focuses on the mechanics of the “vampire squid” process whereby financialization rotates through the economy loading sector balance sheets with debt. Second, it identifies the critical role of government …

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Life among the Econ: fifty years on

April 20, 2021

Almost fifty years ago, the Swedish econographer Axel Leijonhufvud (1973) wrote a seminal study on the Econ tribe titled “Life among the Econ”. This study revisits the Econ and reports on their current state. Life has gotten more complicated since those bygone days. The cult of math modl-ing has spread far and wide, so that …

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Sliding Doors: The Day US Democracy Almost Died

January 10, 2021

Sunday January 10, 2021. It is now four days since the January 6 mob attack on the US Congress which President Donald Trump incited. In a manner akin to a combat situation, the numbness induced by the overwhelming nature of the event is giving way to shock and anger. What is also becoming clear is …

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National Policy Space: Reframing the Political Economy of Globalization and its Implications for National Sovereignty and Democracy

January 8, 2021

This paper critiques the trilemma framing of the political economy of globalization, and offers an alternative framing rooted in the construct of national policy space. Globalization causes changes in policy space which have drop-down implications for national sovereignty and democratic politics. Globalization involves choices regarding the “degree”, “type”, and “dimensions” of international economic integration. Contrary …

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Diego Maradona (1960-2020): Some Bittersweet Reflections

November 27, 2020

Maradona was more than just an extraordinary footballer. He was also a complicated social icon. That further distinguishes him from other footballers, though Pele also has some of that… and it is great to see young footballers like Marcus Rashford taking up that mantle. He was both rewarded by and terribly exploited by the system. …

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What’s wrong with modern money theory (MMT): macro and political economic restraints on deficit financed fiscal policy

October 21, 2020

The essential claim of MMT is sovereign currency issuing governments, with flexible exchange rates and without foreign currency debt, are financially unconstrained. This paper analyzes the macroeconomic arguments behind that claim and shows they are suspect. MMT underestimates the economic costs and exaggerate the capabilities of deficit financed fiscal policy. Those analytic shortcomings render it …

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