[OPE-L:1631] Re: Gold, credit-money and fictitious capital

ma. lourdes r. moll (mlmollo@guarany.cpd.unb.br)
Fri, 29 Mar 1996 06:42:40 -0800

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Jerry, Chai-on, Michael and Iwao,
To begin with the discussion, in a very preliminary way, I will make
some comments about your questions and answers.

Jerry wrote in [OPE-L 1591]:
> (2) Allin and Riccardo suggested looking at Randall Wray's _Money and
> Credit in Capitalist Economies_ (Elgar). How do the two books differ?
> Would anyone dare to advance a critique of Wray's book and/or
> Post-Keynesian theories of money? Are there areas where Marxists can
> learn from this research and, if so, what areas specifically and what
> are the implications for Marx's theory of money?

I think that Marx and Keynes agree in some points about money as the
endogeneity and non neutrality of money, because of their conception of
money as a rule of social cohesion: a social relation in capitalist
economies (Marx) and responsible for the indirect coordination of the
process of accumulaton of capital (Keynes). The differences are however great, we
know, particularly when the concepts are related with labour value, as
is the case of money. Comparisons between the two conceptions and
analytical examination of the differences and resemblances are a good way
of develop new ideas on money and monetary phenomenons, in my opinion.

Jerry also wrote in [OPE-L: 1591]
> (4) How has fictitious capital affected the accumulation process in both
> advanced capitalist nations and in less developed capitalist economies
> *since the debt crisis of the 1980's*? Of what importance are these
> changes?
and Chai-on wrote in [OPE-L: 1593]:

"How do you define the concept of fictious capital, first of all?
Why are the land, the stocks, the bonds, etc. fictious capital?
Even the machinery, if it is unemployed, may lose its value entirely all
at once. In such a case, would uou still call it a real capital?"

I think that Marx spoke about fictious capital emphasizing its difference
in relation to value produced by labour. He spoke about public debt and
stocks, but in the two cases what is important is the absence of direct
relation with labour value. However it's not a pure illusion, because its
owners really earn money from the fictious capital. So it corresponds
to "an overvaluation of capital" and to "a request right of part of
surpus value", and in this sense I agree with Michael [OPE-L 1599] and Iwao
[OPE-L 1604]. I think that it's why S. Brunhoff says that the fictious
capital "is at the centre of major economic problems: the relation between
circulation and production , banks and entreprises and, fundamentally,
the distribution of income".
What interest some authors about the development of fictious capital in
our days (Guttmann in the USA, Salama and Plyhon in France, for example)
and what is being called in France "financiarisation", implies to see an
excess of finance over the production, or a supremacy of finance over
the production, an excess of short term financial operations that absorbs
(displaces ) ressources that otherwise would be employed in investment.
The interest on this subject is also related with the possibilities of
instability and crises that this development of fictious capital
Sorry by the English.