RE: [OPE] Early Notes on the Present Crisis

Date: Wed Sep 17 2008 - 07:08:26 EDT

> resources should probably continue an upward trend in price, after the speculative > sell off stops. Manufacturing should continue downward, except for resource input > prices where they are strong and except for intellectual property & monopolistic > forces prevent a fall. Financial assets are likely to fall for a while. What the > aggregate means is anyone's guess.
Hi Michael P:
Yes, that sounds about right.
The 'wild cards' include state economic policies (which at the present time
are inconsistent) and the _extent_ to which developments in the US economy
will continue to affect world markets and vice versa. {NB: I leave out working
class struggles in the US as a 'wild card' because - at the present time - it seems
highly unlikely that this will figure in the outcome of the present economic
crisis.} What I mean by the latter is that it is unclear exactly and to what extent
the US economy will bring down other economies and global trade and then what
the 'multiplier effect' will be. Insofar as the former is concerned, after bailing out
Fanny May and Freddie Mac, the US government said 'no more bailouts'. And so,
after Lehman Brothers was unable to find a White Knight or the Fed arrange a shotgun
marriage, it failed. Yet, today's news is a bailout of the insurance titan, AIG. I don't
think the US government - to the extent that it represents the collective interests
of capital - had any choice but to do this. Their ideological bent was such that
they didn't want to, but had AIG failed then the effects on both the US and
world capitalist economy would have been profound. Coming out of this
crisis (whenever that happens) the lesson learned may be the same as that
learned (and now re-learned) in the Great Depression - that capitalism has come to
require state intervention to overcome crises.
Left unanswered are: what exactly are the requirements for a capital expansion,
how will capital move from the current crisis to its resolution, and what are the
implications of this for the working class, global peace, the environment, etc. ???
In solidarity, Jerry

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Received on Wed Sep 17 07:10:33 2008

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