Re: [OPE-L] Reclaiming Marx's "Capital": book launch talks, reviews, media coverage

From: Philip Dunn (hyl0morph@YAHOO.CO.UK)
Date: Tue Sep 04 2007 - 15:56:27 EDT

On Tue, 2007-09-04 at 10:18 +0100, Paul Cockshott wrote:
> Philip
> ------
> Assets such as Picassos act as stores of value. How can they do that if
> they have no intrinsic value? Is the value which they store not labour
> value but some other sort of value?
> Paul C
> ------
> I would say that these are speculative prices not determined by value.
> What is your view of the prices of shares for example?
> Is a rise in the price of shares due to the labour input of stock jobbers?
> Does the stock market put in negative amounts of labour on days
> when share prices fall?
In chapter 18 of CI Marx said that capital was command over unpaid
labour-time. So I would see the value of equities and bonds as the
intrinsic power to command a future stream of surplus value. I must
admit I do not know how to go on from there.

I do not think it is due to the productive labour of stock jobbers.

I do not see the value of shares as embodied labour value.

I do not have a problem with negative socially necessary labour-time. If
the value of sales revenue is less than the value of the cost of these
sales then labour as measured by money is negative.

Most of the time labour value added is positive but sometimes labour
activity destroys value and is negative. The limiting case is where
sales are zero and labour must destroy all the value of the constant
capital transferred.

However, I suspect this conclusion is invalid. Value transfer seems to
me to be basically the same as what accountants call cost of goods sold.
The paradox is: if sales are zero how can the cost of goods sold be
other than zero. If no goods are sold how can there be a cost of these
non-existent goods sold?

Anybody got a solution? I suspect I have not understood accruals based
accounting well enough.


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