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With financial giants toppling at rates that shock even seasoned financial commenter, many of us are left wondering, how did this state of affairs come to pass. What is becoming obvious is that the financial markets have become increasingly complex. In this article, Paul Bowman looks the nuts and bolts behind the economic headlines, explaining what is it that is being sold and why nobody seems to be able to stop the chaos from unfolding.This is the first part of a series of articles investigating the capitalist financial markets from a critical perspective. With such a large topic it is tricky finding a route into the subject and a plan of enquiry. The chosen road is to start with a look at the financial markets, particularly focusing on the mechanics of some of the instruments that have led to a momentous transformation of the workings of global financial markets in the most recent decades.
At first sight, this approach may seem odd, perverse even, like examining the internal workings of a clock as a prelude to discussion the social relations of time. However this "inside-out" approach is justified by the fact that as well as a system of social relations, capitalism is also a system with internal mechanics. Those mechanics evolve in response to the historical development of struggles over exploitation, but what new directions the new mechanics make possible in terms of capitalist strategies, in turn, shape the new struggles of today and tomorrow. The next article in the series will place these market mechanics in their fuller historical context. But for now let's start by investigating the mechanics of capitalist financial markets.
On Thursday 12 June Irish citizens voted to reject the neo-liberal Lisbon treaty. They were alone among all the citizens of the EU states in being allowed a direct vote on the matter.
Over the last weeks the Workers Solidarity Movement has been campaigning across Ireland for a No Vote. 50,000 leaflets have been distributed along with 2,000 posters on top of 20,000 issues of Workers Solidarity.
The Workers Solidarity Movement held its Autumn 2007 National Conference in Dublin on the 3rd/4th November. National conferences take place every six months and are the prime decision making body on positions and priorities for the organisation. All WSM members can attend, vote and submit motions and amendments either as individuals or as groups.
National Conference opens with reports by various office holders, editorial committees etc., followed by questions and open discussion. A summary of these reports follows.
[ Italiano ]
Throughout the world, public services have been under attack for the past twenty years. Forming a central plank of the capitalist globalisation agenda, ‘privatisation’ and ‘competition’ are the seemingly unchallenged dogma of modern capitalism. The levels of privatisation which have taken place worldwide are absolutely mindblowing. During the 1990s alone over $900 billion worth of public assets were transferred into private hands. Globally this agenda is pushed by the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The basic theory by which these bodies operate is that all decisions should be made on the basis of profitability alone.
Tue 30 May, 13:37
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