söndag 16 maj 2010

Makten i världsekonomin - var finns den?

Vem bestämmer i världsekonomin? Ofta framställs världsekonomin som en naturkraft bortom mänsklig kontroll - om det, se Dino Viscovis fina avhandling Marknaden som mönster och monster (2006). En "bieffekt" av det är förstås att alla distributiva outcomes blir "naturliga" och "opåverkbara". "Den osynliga och blodiga handen" regerar då.

Men jag tycker inte att det funkar.
Marknaderna är koncentrerade; vissa firmor är antagligen prissättare och inte bara pristagare.
Världsekonomin är ständigt i ojämn utveckling.
Jag tror att man kan "av-mystifiera" världsekonomin utifrån detta.
Och att den populära "globaliseringslitteraturen" - Klein, Martin & Schumann osv - gjorde det jävligt dåligt.
Jag tror att det behövs mer empiri.

Harvard-företagsekonomen Rawi Abdelal har skrivit en väldigt föredömlig bok där, Capital Rules: The Construction of Global Finance (2007). Han har gjort en studie av hur internationell finans har reglerats under 1900-talet och kollar på staters (representanters) agerande i olika internationella strukturer. Arkivstudier och intervjuer. Inga konstigheter, väldigt empiriskt. Och av-mystifierande, tror jag. En "marknad" blir inte bara till ex nihilo utan personer som agerar och fastslår reglerna (institutionerna) för den.

På så sätt kan man också historisera marknaderna.

Louis W Pauly (1997) Who elected the bankers? Surveillance and control in the world economy. Cornell UP
Layna Mosley (2003) Global capital and national governments. Cambridge UP
James Vreeland (2002) The IMF and economic development. Cambridge UP
Ethan Kapstein (1994) Governing the global economy: International Finance and the State. Harvard UP
Rawi F Abdelal (2007) Capital Rules: The Construction of Global Finance. Harvard UP
Leonard Seabrooke (2006) The social sources of financial power. Cornell UP
Jeffry M Chwieroth (2010) Capital Ideas: The IMF and the Rise of Financial Liberalization. Princeton UP
Timothy J Sinclair (2005) The new masters of capital: American bond rating agencies and the politics of credit worthiness. Cornell UP
Claire A Cutler (2003) Private power and global authority: Transnational merchant law in the global political economy. Cambridge UP
Jennifer Clapp (2001) Toxic exports: The transfer of hazardous wastes from rich to poor countries. Cornell UP
Linda Weiss (ed) (2003) States in the Global Economy. Cambridge UP

"In keeping with its practice when rating bonds as junk, S&P gave an estimate of the likely 'recovery rate' should the worst happen. It said bondholders were likely to get back only 30-50% of their principal were Greece to restructure its debt or to default. That prompted panic in bond markets. The yield on Greece’s ten-year bonds leapt above 11% and that on two-year bonds to almost 19% at one point on April 28th. Portugal’s borrowing rates jumped, too."
Economist, "Briefing: The euro zone's debt crisis", 1 maj


"Hedge funds would seem to be a business in which location doesn’t matter. Buy and sell orders can be executed from a beachfront villa in Costa Rica just as fast as from a cube farm in midtown, and the laws of economics dictate that businesses seek out the lowest-cost destinations. Yet the hedge-fund industry exhibits one of the most vivid examples of concentration in today’s economy—and it does so in two of the world’s most expensive places. Lower Hedgistan is an L-shaped wedge encompassing the Upper East Side (from Park Avenue to the park) and the so-called Plaza district of trophy midtown office buildings. Upper Hedgistan is Greenwich, Connecticut. Separated by 30 miles, these two islands of prosperity form a closed circuit via the Hutchinson River Parkway and I-95, and function as a single, insanely profitable ecosystem. Of the world’s 351 funds with more than $1 billion in assets, 143—or 40 percent—are based in Greater Hedgistan."
Daniel Gross, "The Kingdom of Hedgistan", New York Magazine 9 april 2007

"If the hedge-fund boom has a capital, it is Greenwich, a ritzy suburb of mansions and gated estates about 30 miles from Manhattan. More than 100 hedge funds -- private investment pools that cater to wealthy investors and institutions -- have set up shop here in the past few years, a sign of the industry's explosive growth. Greenwich-based hedge funds collectively manage more than $100 billion, about a tenth of the total invested in hedge funds world-wide.

The invasion reflects an escalating race for status and convenience among managers of hedge funds. Greenwich, a town of 62,000 located on the shores of Long Island Sound, is still mainly a residential community, with limited office space. Yet because many of the richest fund managers want to live in Greenwich -- and work close to home -- they're quickly turning the town into hedge-fund row."
Ianthe Jeanne Dugan & Robert Frank, "Hedge funds at home in Greenwich, Conn.", Wall Street Journal 4 augusti 2005

Uppdatering 7 november 2011
"Most economists today don’t ask who rules the global economy, visualizing it as a decentralized competitive market that cannot be ruled. Yet new evidence suggests that global economic clout is highly concentrated among large interlocking transnational companies.

Three Swiss experts on complex network analysis have recently examined the architecture of international ownership, analyzing a large database of transnational corporations. They concluded that a large portion of control resides with a relatively small core of financial institutions, with about 147 tightly knit companies controlling about 40 percent of the total wealth in the network.

Their analysis draws heavily on network topology, a methodology that biologists use to good effect. An article in the British magazine New Scientist describes the research as evidence of a global financial oligarchy. /.../"

Nancy Folbre, "Who Rules the World Economy?", NYT Economix 7 november

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