The Endless Crisis: How Monopoly-Finance Capital Produces Stagnation and Upheaval from the USA to China

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The days of boom and bubble are over, and the time has come to understand the long-term economic reality. Although the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, hopes for a new phase of rapid economic expansion were quickly dashed. Instead, growth has been slow, unemployment has remained high, wages and benefits have seen little improvement, poverty has increased, and the trend toward more inequality of incomes and wealth has continued. It appears that the Great Recession has given way to a period of long-term anemic growth, which Foster and McChesney aptly term the Great Stagnation.






This incisive and timely book traces the origins of economic stagnation and explains what it means for a clear understanding of our current situation. The authors point out that increasing monopolization of the economy—when a handful of large firms dominate one or several industries—leads to an over-abundance of capital and too few profitable investment opportunities, with economic stagnation as the result. Absent powerful stimuli to investment, such as historic innovations like the automobile or major government spending, modern capitalist economies have become increasingly dependent on the financial sector to realize profits. And while financialization may have provided a temporary respite from stagnation, it is a solution that cannot last indefinitely, as instability in financial markets over the last half-decade has made clear.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 MonopolyFinance Capital and the Crisis
29
2 The Financialization of Accumulation
49
3 Monopoly and Competition in TwentyFirstCentury Capitalism
65
4 The Internationalization of Monopoly Capital
103
5 The Global Reserve Army of Labor and the New Imperialism
125
6 The Great Stagnation and China
155
Notes
185
Index
220
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About the author (2012)

John Bellamy Foster is an editor of Monthly Review and a professor of sociology at the University of Oregon. His previous books on ecology include: The Vulnerable Planet, Marx’s Ecology, Hungry for Profit (edited with Fred Magdoff and Frederick Buttel), Ecology Against Capitalism, The Ecological Revolution, The Ecological Rift (with Brett Clark and Richard York), What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism (with Fred Magdoff), Marx and the Earth (with Paul Burkett), and The Robbery of Nature (with Brett Clark).

Robert W. McChesney is the Gutgsell Endowed Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of The Political Economy of Media, Communication Revolution, The Problem of the Media, and Rich Media, Poor Democracy.

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