Saturday, December 3, 2016

On the Surplus Wages of the Salaried Bourgeois

On the Emergence of Managerial Capitalism (Capitalism w/Asian Values)
from the Fincancial Times
The “global minotaur” of the title is not Germany but the twin deficits of the US. Just as the bull-headed monster of Crete was fed a gory human tribute, so the US sat until recently at the heart of a system that siphoned capital towards Wall Street. This was then spewed out as economic demand — a GSRM of devilish force, keeping the world economy afloat for decades, but doomed to self-destruction. Along the way, this minotaur is deployed to explain everything that irks the leftist polemicist. The Wall Street mergers and acquisitions boom, the US defence budget, Walmart — all were just the creature’s “hand maidens”.

The destruction of the minotaur by a storm of its own making laid bare the instability of world demand. This is where the saga of Greece and the eurozone re-enters the tale. What Germany has built is a system of fixed exchange rates without any means of recycling surpluses towards deficit countries. Neither benign hegemon (like the US after the second world war) nor voracious, irresponsible minotaur, Germany squats sullenly atop the European economy, bargaining stagnation outside its borders for the security of its surplus.

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