Protecting the Game from the Players

June 7, 2016
Image from flickr:

In certain circles, Charlie Munger is a demi-god. He is the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company controlled by the god of markets himself, or rather, Warren Buffett. The words spoken and written by both Buffett and Munger are treated as divine insights on the way the world works or ought to work. Recently, Munger … Read More

Corporate Taxation and the Power Theory of Value

May 4, 2016

This is a (longer) draft version of an article that is under consideration for the newsletter of the Tax Justice Network: Tax Justice Focus.  Taxation is all about power. We are constantly reminded of this when flipping through any newspaper (or browsing any news website). The Panama Papers, the stuff of which front page headlines … Read More

Why Diamonds and De Beers?, or The Need for Accumulation Studies

April 15, 2016

Preface. I successfully defended my dissertation in December. This served as the introductory presentation for the defence. In it, I explain what I tried to do with the dissertation, the methods I used, and the larger project I hope it is initiating. Specifically, I suggest there is a need for accumulation studies as a field … Read More

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Sandy Brian Hager, A Global Bond: Explaining the Safe Haven Status of U.S. Treasury Securities

July 28, 2016

ABSTRACT This article offers new theoretical and empirical insights to explain the resilience of U.S. Treasury securities as the world’s premier safe or “risk free” asset. The standard explanation of resilience emphasizes the relative safety of U.S. Treasuries due to a shortage of safe assets in the global political economy. The analysis here goes beyond the standard explanation to highlight … Read More

Hana Kivisto, Capital as Power and the Corporatization of Education

June 28, 2016

ABSTRACT Building on the definition of critical education residing in the crossroads of cultural politics and political economy, this theoretical article offers an inquiry into the intersection between critical education research and the central ritual of contemporary capitalism – capitalisation. This article outlines four current approaches in education research literature to the corporatisation of education. … Read More

Sandy Brian Hager, Public Debt, Inequality, and Power: The Making of a Modern Debt State

June 27, 2016

ABSTRACT Who are the dominant owners of US public debt? Is it widely held, or concentrated in the hands of a few? Does ownership of public debt give these bondholders power over our government? What do we make of the fact that foreign-owned debt has ballooned to nearly 50 percent today? Until now, we have … Read More

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Working Papers

No. 2016/5: Cochrane, “Disobedient Things”

August 24, 2016

Analysis of the Deepwater Horizon disaster and the accumulatory decline of BP demonstrates both the analytical efficacy of the capital-as-power (CasP) approach to value theory, and the irreducible role of objects in the process of accumulation. Rather than productivity per se, accumulation depends on control of productivity. Owners’ control is over both the human and … Read More

No. 2016/04: Fix, “Energy and Institution Size”

June 20, 2016

Why do institutions grow? Despite nearly a century of scientific effort, there remains little consensus on this topic. This paper offers a new approach that focuses on energy consumption. A systematic relation exists between institution size and energy consumption per capita: as energy consumption increases, institutions become larger. I hypothesize that this relation results from … Read More

No. 2016/03: Di Muzio and Dow, “Uneven and Combined Confusion: On the Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism and the Rise of the West”

June 11, 2016

This article offers a critique of Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nişancioğlu’s How the West Came to Rule: The Geopolitical Origins of Capitalism. We argue that while all historiography features a number of silences, shortcomings or omissions, the omissions in How the West Came to Rule lead to a mistaken view of the emergence of capitalism. … Read More

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BN Archives

CasP Conference on "Capital as Power: Broadening the Vista"

August 17, 2016

CasP Conference on "Capital as Power: Broadening the Vista"
Nitzan, Jonathan. (2016). York University, Toronto. 28-30 September. (Other; English).

The Need to Rid the World of Inequality. Review of The 1% and the Rest of Us

August 10, 2016

The Need to Rid the World of Inequality. Review of The 1% and the Rest of Us
Petersen, Kim. (2016). Dissident Voice. 10 August. (Review; English).

A Global Bond: Explaining the Safe-Haven Status of US Treasury Securities

August 4, 2016

A Global Bond: Explaining the Safe-Haven Status of US Treasury Securities
Hager, Sandy Brian. (2016). European Journal of Inernational Relations. Online First. 25 July. pp. 1-24. (Article - Journal; English).

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Critical Mass Forum

Political Economy • Re: Recommend some good political economy

August 3, 2016

This type of research is easier than I thought. Google has a service called the Ngram Viewer ( that allows you to track the relative frequency of occurrence for various words.

Political Economy • Re: Recommend some good political economy

August 3, 2016

This is not political economy per se, but the research methodology (and results) are fascinating, and I think the technique could lead to very interesting results if applied to other areas.

Political Economy • Re: Do benchmarks have a benchmark?

July 18, 2016

One of CasP central insights is that accumulation is a relative process. Owners assess their fortunes against various benchmarks to evaluate success or failure. A corollary insight is that success can be found even in decline as long as one's decline is less than the average.

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RECASP Journal

Putting Power Back Into Growth Theory

Blair Fix
Vol. 1, No. 2 2015

Can Capitalists Afford Recovery?

Jonathan Nitzan and Shimshon Bichler
Vol. 1, No. 1 2013/2014

Wal-Mart's Power Trajectory: A Contribution to the Political Economy of the Firm

Joseph Baines
Vol. 1, No. 1 2013/2014

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