Economics as Superstructure

Presentation for the seminar “Economics and Power” on 23 March 2015, House of Lords, London: Ladies and Gentlemen, To pay tribute to the Marxist jargon, in which Lord Skidelsky has phrased the title of my subject, I would like to start with a quote from Karl Marx: “The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas. … The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, … the relationships which make the one class the ruling one, therefore, the ideas of its dominance.” In my own words, that means that not all economic ideas are created equal.

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Saving might be a virtue for people, but it is a vice for economies

Fabian Lindner of the German macro-economic research institute IMK has submitted a very timely and well-argued piece to the World Economic Reviw: “Does Saving Increase the Supply of Credit? A Critique of Loanable Funds Theory”. He takes on influential theses of luminaries from Larry Summers, over Ben Bernanke to Hans-Werner Sinn by tracing them back to the loanable-funds-fallacy – a fallacy which still rules standard textbooks. His main proposition is simple and not refutable: firms and economies do not operate at full capacity. All research and surveys show that

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