While most economists believe that the 2007-2008 financial crisis was caused by the excessive optimism of financial markets, some economists, mostly heterodox ones, tie this crisis to structural factors, in particular growing income inequalities, as measured by the rising share of profits in national income and by the disparities in wage income. The author presents the results of a research project based on five modules that analyzed the causes of those evolutions as well as the negative impact of the fall in the wage share on the growth of aggregate demand and on the growth of productivity. Neoliberal policies thus ended up having negative effects on the economy, and those effects could only be temporarily avoided and hidden by the rising indebtedness of households or by beggar-my-neighbour export-led policies. It is thus essential to go back to more equitable policies based on full-employment targets and high wages.
Large corporations have experienced structural transformations over the past 30
years that have affected their internal dynamics as well as their adaptation to their
environment. The establishment of a finance-led regime of accumulation has, among other
factors, caused a reconfiguration of the main devices of control of the corporation, which
must cope with a financial system organizing a new logic of regulation. Summarizing and
extending the recent work of the American institutionalist sociology of the corporations,
this article aims to identify the main terms of financial restructuring of the large
corporations that were concurrent deployment of this regime of accumulation. These terms
will be schematically analyzed from practices by key actors which pushed for these
This paper presents the impact of financialization upon collective bargaining, the main social relation between the trade union’s strategy and the business model of the company. From an analogy between the financial theory of the option and the collective bargaining’s process, we show the implications on employment’s security and labor relations in establishments from the case study of complex Jonquière d’Alcan. Financialization should not be interpreted as an «externality» of the economic system, but instead as a new form of regulation. This research thus illustrates the performativity of financial theory on labor and collective bargaining.
This article considers the pretext of microfinance in general, and the case of Peru in particular, to reflect on peripheral financialization as an incorporation dynamic in its relation to capitalist crises. Microfinance is positioned as a new component of finance-led capitalism that enables responses and reactions to crises of legitimacy and accumulation. Theoretical reflections on the remedies developed by capitalism to manage problems of exclusion and exhaustion of reservoirs of value are related to empirical manifestations in the field of fringe finance. The key ingredients in the implementation of the financial inclusion project—proactive management of poverty, insertion of informal economy in mainstream circuits, and creation of new channels for accumulation—are covered. The article’s conclusion deals with the relationship between the peripheral expansion of finance and the known and potential crises it provokes.
Mass finance has become an essential structure of advanced capitalism ; originating from the margins of fordist accumulation, it has now become a central regulation of the financialized accumulation regime. Mass finance is the foundation on which the securitization of household debts has developed, a practice that was at the origin of the 2008 crisis, and that now has become normalized as an economic regulation of the social relation of mass credit. Securitization is here examined through the lens of Marx’s conception of reification, as developed in his analysis of financial accumulation. We follow the process of production of liquid financial capital by the reification of credit relations.
This article proposes a reflection on the capitalist production of space. It explores Henri Lefebvre’s theory of space, which provides an original understanding of the relation between space and time in the reproduction of capital. The article focuses on Lefebvre’s concept of abstract space, the origins of which can be traced to Marx’s writings, illustrating the central role played by space in value production. The concept of abstract space allows a reconsideration of the priority usually given to time in critical analysis of capitalism. In conclusion, it is argued that such a comprehension of space can also provide a useful insight on the recent financialization of capital.
In his successive analytical efforts to grasp the dynamics of the rate of profit, Marx identified the growth of the difference between the rate of surplus-value and profit rate as the most general condition of the declining of the latter, in spite of the rise of the general rate of surplus-value. He tried relentlessly to formulate the law of this evolution. Even if he did not reach this goal, Marx made partially obvious that the decline of the profit rate was due to the intensity of the variation of the rate of surplus-value. Yet, if one considers the rate of profit as a discrete dynamic system, it appears clearly that the intensity of the surplus-value rate plays a crucial role in the fate of this system, and that taking into account the surplus-value rate allows us to formulate the most general conditions of the declining of profit rate, and of the necessary trend of such declining. This allows us as well to formulate the elementary laws which govern the intensities of variation in the composition, accumulation, and of the simple difference between the two rates, and of their relations.