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Economia e Sociedade

Print version ISSN 0104-0618

Abstract

CIPOLLA, Francisco Paulo. Different Marxist theories of crises and different interpretations of the current crisis. Econ. soc. [online]. 2012, vol.21, n.1, pp.39-59. ISSN 0104-0618.  https://doi.org/10.1590/S0104-06182012000100002.

This article is a critical survey of different interpretations of the 2007-2008 financial crises. They were chosen either because they represented classical Marxian views on crisis, such as the underconsumption or over-accumulation theories, or else because they were newly developed interpretations based on recent newly economic developments, as it is the case of the financial expropriation theory. The analysis reveals three main points of view. The first is that the cause of crisis is the stagnation of the economy and the ensuing transfer of profits from production to finance, process that caused the housing-financial bubble (Husson and Foster/Magdoff). The second view argues that it was the structural change in financial markets which led banks to increasingly rely on consumer credit as a profitable alternative to corporate financing which has become increasingly independent from bank sources (Lapavitsas and dos Santos). The third view argues that low rates of profit caused sluggish growth rates while governments tried to compensate for by promoting demand through cheap credit (Kliman). Finally, it is worth noticing that the incipient use of Marxian categories to the analysis of banking and finance leads systematically to the use of the post-Keynesian theories immediately available thus reproducing its condition of underdevelopment.

Keywords : Marxian theories of crises; Rate of profit; Stagnation.

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