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Prior to the financialzation of the US economy, beginning in the '70s, all forms of capitalism had focused on making profits on manufacturing or delivery of services such as medical care, personal care, legal and accounting services, etc. The focus now is on financial manipulation of representations of wealth, with delivery of services or products as a secondary factor. E.g. General Electric and General Motors. Now large corporations show PROFITS from financial manipulation, show LOSSES from delivery of products and services and are dependent on preferential access to cheap or free government money to show profits at all. That is an unprecedented and fundamental shift from any previous mode of operation. So I will go with Yanis.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun May 16th, 2021 at 08:39:02 PM EST
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The rentier aspects of capitalism have always been there and were typically the ultimate goal of capitalists.  Scrooge took advantage of the working class not being able to live on the wages the owners paid them to make usurious loans (rather lie pay-day lenders today) and then play the market.  The owners of Union Pacific used Credit Mobilier to bleed UP dry for their own benefit.  The 1929 crash was the result of uncontrolled securitization of the US economy (And BTW, it also resulted in a massive asset transfer from the working and middle classes to the capitalist class, as has every crash we've ever had.  It isn't a new phenomenon.  The reason the capitalists were making noises about a coup against FDR was because his New Deal was interfering with their expected rake.  For the Ueberklass, crashes aren't a bug, they're a feature.).  Much of the control feature of colonialism, both de jure and de facto, has been through financial manipulation.  Think of how the UK gained control of the Suez, or how the West, through the IMF, has kept just about every place else tied to the whipping post.

Once upon a time, it was believed capital needed generated by and backed by hard assets, such as raw materials and manufacturing.  About a half-century ago the Ueberklass figured out this was a load of Quatsch and that they could leave the nasty business of creating and operating hard assets to the schmucks while they took the real rake through financing (This is why they have their lackeys in the media and academe constantly attack MMT.  Knowledge is power, and ignorance in everyone else is both useful and essential for those with knowledge and power.).  What had been a side line (GM created GMAC in 1919, and GE had its own finance structures.) became the main event as manufacturing was shipped to what was once known as the Third World, and the West pushed securities and currency around.  As I said in my first post, the whole thing is now unsurprisingly eating itself, but with Global Climate Change looming, it may not get a chance to finish its meal.

by rifek on Mon May 17th, 2021 at 05:10:01 AM EST
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