Capitalism without Capital: Accounting for the crash - download pdf or read online

By Alan Shipman

ISBN-10: 1137442433

ISBN-13: 9781137442437

An strange consensus has built between economists that the 'long growth' earlier than 2008, and the following situation and recession, resulted from a world far more than capital. Over-supply of saving force down capital expenditures, encouraging excessively dicy funding and fighting the scrapping of superseded plant. Capital's inexorable development can be blamed for a chronic squeeze on wages, emerging elite wealth and aggravating international inequality. This ebook explores the most obvious conflict among such arguments and genuine measurements of capital, which express a small and shrinking 'productive' part, and a deepening disconnection among capital accumulation and fiscal progress. It lines the clash to the continuing absence of constant definitions or measurements of capital, and overlook of the advanced connection among combination capital and wealth. Capital 'gains' and 'losses', and the starting to be domination of source of revenue statements by way of stability sheets, undermine makes an attempt to dodge the matter through reconstituting economics as a procedure of flows.

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46 Capitalism without Capital Optimistic American commentators insisted that the same could not happen in the US because stronger shareholders acting in competitive markets (for ‘corporate control’ as well as bonds and shares) would force the immediate disposal of old capacity that was merely breaking even. Whole businesses were expected to ‘fail’, the outdated tail preventing the state-of-the-art head from staying above water, if attachment to existing customers and technologies stopped their management embracing the new and erasing the old (Christensen 1997, Sobel 1999: Ch.

It could be noted that, for many years before and after the crisis year of 2008, managers were happy to withdraw financial capital from their enterprises in order to repurchase shares. They had no problem returning capital, in the form of money, to shareholders who could then redeploy it to other parts of the economy. But this change in their companies’ financial structure (substituting debt for equity if the buyback funds were borrowed, shrinking equity if the buyback were profit financed) was partly designed to defend the firm and its management against the withdrawal of capital in its ‘physical’ and ‘human’ forms.

So the interest and dividends from corporate capital went mainly to an elite, rich enough to hold portfolios that would not crumble if a few of their shares wilted or bonds defaulted. A ­ clearing-out of redundant physical capital, by downsizing or bankrupting the firms that had clung to obsolete technology, could be achieved without socially disruptive effects on those who drew income from capital. Today such a culling of unprofitable plants is rarely palatable because shares are held by pension funds and other institutional investors representing a far broader segment of society, including many employees.

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Capitalism without Capital: Accounting for the crash by Alan Shipman

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