A House of Cards
Posted by Fredsvenn den desember 8, 2007
In the meantime here’s an extended synopsis of House of Cards – it shows that with present day developments we’ve at least begun to deal with the issues/challenges seemingly raised by Patrick’s 1990 ‘skeletal analysis’- Patrick please send me a copy.
A House of Cards
From Fantasy Finance to Global Crash
A House of Cards by Gerry Gold and Paul Feldman presents a timely analysis of the global financial crisis, symbolised by the queues of depositors outside Northern Rock in September, and its relationship to the “real” economy. It shows that despite ritual claims to the contrary, the economic fundamentals underlying the 2007 credit crunch are decidedly unsound.
Chapter 1 traces the source of the 2007 banking crisis and emergence of recession in the corporate-driven globalisation process. It probes the stages of globalisation since the breakdown of the Bretton Woods monetary agreement in 1971 against a background of political change. A House of Cards analyses the emergence of powerful transnational corporations through deregulation and foreign direct investment. Marx’s analysis of capitalist social relations is used to demonstrate how commodity production for profit depends on exponential growth. The chapter shows how investment in increased productivity destroys
jobs, leads to overproduction, excess capacity and extreme consumerism.
Chapter 2 examines the world of fantasy finance, showing why the US housing crisis is the expression of something much more profound. It looks at how unprecedented investment was needed to finance, develop and promote the transformation of the global economy. A House of Cards examines how the voluminous growth of credit appeared to depart into a separate fantasy world of finance and spectacular profits only to come crashing back to earth in 2007. An assessment of the scale of corporate, national and personal debt sets the scene
for consequences far deeper than those of the 1929 Wall Street Crash.
Chapter 3 looks at the major damaging global consequences of three decades of reckless growth including climate change, inequality, extreme consumerism, resources wars and the drift to authoritarian rule. Driven by market economics, the burning of fossil fuels looks set to spiral upwards while inequality has widened as a result of corporate-driven globalisation. Sustaining uncontrollable growth requires escalating quantities of raw materials as well as increasing supplies of cheaper labour and widening markets. These demands lie behind a series of civil wars as well as the occupation of Iraq. Referring to the writings of financier George Soros, A House of Cards argues that the transition to a market, competition state means that capitalism cannot be reformed through parliamentary activity.
Chapter 4 critically analyses a variety of high-profile proposals, consisting of a mixture of regulation, state intervention, new global governance and changes to the way corporations operate. It concludes that today’s crisis in the financial markets is far beyond the capacity of governments and national central banks to influence. Deregulation is an absolute requirement of corporate-driven globalisation and lies at the heart of the system. Corporate-driven globalisation has largely broken free from nation-state constraints and transcends borders in its operations. Even if states wanted to regulate the activities of the global market, they neither have the incentive nor the capacity to do so. They are in the main so tied to corporate interests
that any attempt to impose regulations simply leads to business and finance moving elsewhere.
Chapter 5 introduces proposals and actionable first steps to develop alternative global economic solutions. It argues that it is time to move to a concept of local stewardship acting in the interests of global society. This means challenging the political and moral support for capitalism as the organising premise of society. The closing chapter proposes new forms of
co-ownership of the major production and financial resources. A House of Cards examines how some of the component parts of the system can be reused or recycled in a new global economy oriented towards the satisfaction of needs.
About the authors:
Gerry Gold is a consultant in complex systems who specialises in understanding the global economy and co-author of A World to Win – A Rough Guide to a Future Without Global Capitalism. He is also a musician favouring collective improvisation.
Paul Feldman is a political analyst and journalist. He is editor of A World to Win website and co-author of A World to Win, Gerry Healy, A Revolutionary Life; and Running a Temperature – an action plan for the eco-crisis.
A House of Cards
Published by Lupus Books, 29 November 2007
For information/review copies: