[OPE-L:1632] Re: Gold, credit-money and fictitious capital

ma. lourdes r. moll (mlmollo@guarany.cpd.unb.br)
Fri, 29 Mar 1996 07:39:44 -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 the non neutrality of money, because of their conception
of money as a rule of social cohesion: a social relation (Marx) and
responsible for the indirect coordination of the process of accumulation
of capital (Keynes). The differences are however great, we know,
particularly when the concepts are related in Marx to the labour value
theory. Comparisons between the two conceptions and analytical
examination of their differences and resemblances are a good way to
develop new ideas on money and monetary phenomenons.

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

Marx spoke about fictious capital emphasizing its difference
in relation to value produced by labour. He spoke about the public debt
and the 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 "a request of part of surplus value"and to "an
overvaluation of capital"and I agree in this sense with Iwao [OPE-L 1604]
and Michael [OPE-L 1599]. I think that it's why Brunhoff says that the
fictious capital "is at the centre of major economic problems: the
relation of circulation and production, banks and enterprises and,
fundamentally, the distribution of income"( Marxian Economics _ The New
The interest of some authors on the development of fictious capital in
our days (Guttmann in USA, Plyhon and Salama in France, for example) and
what is being called in France "financiarisation", implies to see an
excess 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 long term investment. The interest on
this subject is also related with the possibilities of instability and
crises that this development of fictious capital represent.
Sorry by the English.