Joseph Lazzaro writes:
There’s an old axiom that goes “wise is the person who appreciates candor almost as much as good news” and with that as a guide, place the forthcoming decidedly in the category of candor.
Economist Nouriel “Dr. Doom” Roubini, the New York University professor who four years ago accurately predicted the global financial crisis, said one of economist Karl Marx’s critiques of capitalism is playing itself out in the current global financial crisis.
Marx, among other theories, argued that capitalism had an internal contradiction that would cyclically lead to crises, and that, at minimum, would place pressure on the economic system.
Companies, Roubini said, are motivated to minimize costs, to save and stockpile cash, but this leads to less money in the hands of employees, which means they have less money to spend and flow back to companies.
Now, in current financial crisis, consumers, in addition to having less money to spend due to the above, are also motivated to minimize costs, to save and stockpile cash, magnifying the effect of less money flowing back to companies.
“Karl Marx had it right,” Roubini said in an interview with wsj.com. “At some point capitalism can self-destroy itself. That’s because you can not keep on shifting income from labor to capital without not having an excess capacity and a lack of aggregate demand. We thought that markets work. They are not working. What’s individually rational…is a self-destructive process.”