We’ve provided plenty of analysis on the crisis, and admittedly, most of it relies on some basic pro-market, capitalist assumptions. But maybe you want to mix things up a little, in which case, you should head on over to Radical Perspectives on the Crisis, which is doing a good job aggregating the Marxian take on the whole mess.
Here, for example, is an interesting interview with philosophere Paul Virilio, who argues that the crisis is the “unavoidable consequence of technological progress”. He likens it to the 3 Mile Island disaster, saying all of our “technical prowess (is) pregnant of catastrophic promises.” Actually, this guy would probably get along well with Nassim Taleb (and possibly even Great Depression buff Ben Bernanke):
The dominant form of writing about History limits itself to the study of facts as seen in the light of the long term. Contrariwise, I advocate a study of History based exclusively on ruptures. (French) Historian
Francois Hartog calls the dominant paradigm “presentism”. We must go further. Our paradigm should be “instantaneism”.
Beyond the arguments themselves, another Marxist trademark is section titles like On the Crisis of Finance or Financialization. Financialization is the word they use to describe the notion that the economy has gone from one being built around building things, to one where people make money by pushing around paper.
On that note, it’s probably weird for these radicals to have a view — too much money is made by pushing around paper — that’s become so thoroughly mainstream. You’d have a hard time finding a politician or man on the street who wouldn’t share this view, right now.
Meanwhile, check out the accompanying for analysis on day-to-day events. Here’s their take on the thawing of the credit markets:
In even more positive news for finance, the interest rate at which banks lend money to one another overnight has dropped from 5.37 to 1.5. This indicates an increase in trust between institutions–they are more willing to lend to one another. Note: this market is very important for the banking industry because it is what allows the banks to meet their balance sheet obligations without having to liquefy assets etc… However the rate at which banks are willing to lend to one another over a three month period is still far above historical levels. This indicates a fear of instability in the coming months.
All this seems like good news for the capitalists.
And there’s the line that sums it all up. Rather than the drop in LIBOR being good news period, it’s good news for the capitalists.
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