Finance capital remains dominant

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In The Economist edition dated April 6th 2013 there is an interesting Briefing on ‘A world of cheap money’. The third graph in this article is entitled Boom Deferred: gross fixed capital formation as % of GDP. What this shows is that since 2006 companies are disinvesting in the real economy and stashing their cash away in pieces of paper that are worth less and less. In fact, most of these companies are paying governments to look after their money because the interest rates on bonds are lower than inflation. Incredible. At the start of the article is this remarkable indictment of Quantitative Easing: “Big companies have taken the opportunity [of the lowest interest rates in recent economic history] to borrow in the bond markets, locking in cheap financing for years to come. But the cheap money has not led to the growth-igniting investment spree the monetary policy was designed to encourage.” Why is this? As I have argued elsewhere, it is all about short-termism plus uncertainty which austerity policies cannot bring to an end. What are the real economy investments that could unlock this cash? Long-term commitments to repair the future: massive socio-technical infrastructures that will deliver a more sustainable future, especially urban infrastructures. That is my answer, not what The Economist would say. Of course.