Debate: On British Labour’s New Economic Policy

mcdcorbPublished: 25 November 2015
Debate Participants: Themos Demetriou, Michael Roberts and Eric Andersson

“Where Michael Roberts is Wrong” by Themos

In one of his latest posts Michael Roberts questions the validity of the economic philosophy of the new Labour Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell, as well as his marxist credentials. He points out that in his keynote speech on economics at the Labour Annual Conference he accepts Marx’s analysis of the capitalist system but distances himself from his conclusions about what to do. He goes on to criticise McDonnell’s decision to appoint Keynesian rather than Marxist economists to his panel of economic advisers and forecasts that ‘Corbyn and McDonnell’s National Investment Bank will not be enough to deliver sufficiently faster growth as long as the UK economy is still dominated in its strategic sectors by capitalist profit-making companies in the City of London’.

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Greece: Keynes or Marx?

Keynes or Marx coll

Published: 14 March 2015
Author: Michael Roberts

The Greeks are now in a so-called four-month breathing space – an extension of the existing ‘bailout’ programme that was agreed by the previous Conservative-led government with the Troika (the EU Commission, the ECB and the IMF).
Of course, this breathing space is already narrow and closing as the Greek economy continues to suffocate (see my post https://thenextrecession.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/greece-breaking-illusions/).

An interview with Costas Lapavitsas
But there is an opportunity to consider the way out for the Greek people when the four months are up. That’s what makes the recent interview in Jacobin with Syriza MP and Marxist economist, Costas Lapavitsas, a leading member of the Left Platform within Syriza, so interesting. (https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/03/lapavitsas-varoufakis-grexit-syriza/).

Costas Lapavitsas
Costas Lapavitsas

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Greece: Syriza, the Economists and the Impossible Triangle

3ED2-ECB-EuclidTsakalotosPublished: 23 Jan 2015
Author: Michael Roberts

All the polls show that the leftist Syriza alliance is set to win the general election in Greece next Sunday.  It may not get an outright majority and may have to form a coalition with one of the small centre parties.  But it looks most likely that the incumbent coalition of Samaras’ conservative New Democracy and the degenerated social-democrat PASOK will lose power.

Financial markets are getting worried and Greek government bonds have dropped sharply in price as investors fear a default.  Greek banks are losing deposits as Greek corporations and the rich (or at least those that have not already done so) shift their euros overseas.  Three banks are now asking for what is called Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) from the Greek central bank (in effect, liquid funds from the Eurosystem controlled by the European Central Bank).

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