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Tag Archives: Finacialisation

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PRIVATE EQUITY, CORPORATE TURBULENCE AND LABOUR REGULATION

Call for Papers
Private Equity, Corporate Turbulence and Labour Regulation

ESRC/Middlesex University One Day Workshop
Monday June 13th  2011, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Concerns over the role of private equity in shaping corporate behaviour were already apparent in the years immediately preceding the Great Financial Crash of 2008. In 2006 alone buy-outs of businesses by private equity organisations amounted to US$ 725bn. – equivalent to the economies of Argentina, Poland and South Africa combined. One quarter of all takeovers before the financial crash were financed by such private equity.

Major household names, such as Nabisco, Carrefour, Gate Gourmet and EMI have already fallen to such venture capital. Private equity finance depends on leverage, or the ability to borrow money to raise more finance. There is thus a dependence on debt, which enormously increases the risk of such investment. Up until the financial crash such risky ventures produced huge returns for the financiers, but after the crash such debt led to huge losses. Harvard University, for example, lost millions of dollars from its funds after it had mistakenly switched to private equity investment as an alternative to stocks and bonds. The result was lay-offs and redundancies of workers to cover the cost, a pattern of events being repeated elsewhere for workers whose employing organisation is dependent on debt finance.

Such ‘short-termism’ appears built in to the private equity model, as the financiers seek immediate gains from their investments at the cost of longer term corporate stability. Employees and their unions are faced with continuous episodes of restructuring as corporations are treated as ‘bundles of assets’ and plants are sold off to make profits or avoid losses. Productive investment in a company becomes less likely, as it is an additional cost to the remote owners. Workers suffer from increased job insecurity as off-shoring and contracting-out is encouraged, while industrial relations and collective bargaining becomes a casualty of corporate instability and ‘invisible’ employers.

This seminar will discuss and debate the continuing problems of private equity finance and corporate turbulence by bringing together academics and practitioners from trade unions, government bodies, employers and NGOs to discuss policy initiatives. The seminar is convened by Middlesex University, London and funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council. It is part of a series of seminars examining global labour regulation in the international economy. Previous seminars reviewed problems arising from the increasing use of contract and agency labour, and migrant workers.

Overview speakers include:

Professor John Grahl (Middlesex University) on Restructuring under the Rule of the Capital Markets: the case of private equity? and
Professor Geoff Wood (Sheffield University), Professor Marc Goergen (Cardiff University) and Professor Noel O’Sullivan (University of Sheffield) with a data presentation on The Employment Consequences of Private Equity Acquisitions: The Case of Institutional Buy-Outs.

Plus speakers from International Trade Union Federations on the trade union response.

If you wish to contribute a paper to this seminar, or wish to attend as a delegate please contact below. We are particularly keen to hear case study presentations on labour-related problems flowing from private equity and institutional buy-outs. Some financial assistance may be available for selected presenters to cover costs of travel and accommodation.

For more information, and registration at the Seminar, please contact Professor Martin Upchurch, Middlesex University, London, UK: m.upchurch@mdx.ac.uk or Denise Arden d.arden@mdx.ac.uk

Further information on the seminar series can be found at Beyond Labour Regulation blog: http://www.globalworkonline.net/blog/private-equity-corporate-turbulence-and-labour-regulation/

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Capitalism Hits the Fan

 

A Message from Rick Wolff about his Film

 

Dear Friends

 

I hope that you may find a new film that I made with the Media Education Foundation (MEF) interesting and useful. Called “Capitalism Hits the Fan,” it is aimed at colleges, universities, and also high schools for instructional use, but it can serve other purposes as well. You can get a sense of it at http://www.capitalismhitsthefan.com/

 

The dvd can be ordered now and will be shipped by month’s end. It is also possible to view the full-length version (just under an hour) freely, albeit in low resolution, at the MEF website: http://www.mediaed. org/cgi-bin/ commerce. cgi?preadd= action&key=139. While the institutional prices are high, individuals can order the DVD for $ 19.95. The DVD contains both the full-length version and a shorter 35-minute version.

 

You may be especially interested in the critical analytical approach to explaining the causes of the current crisis, in the critique of Keynesian stimulus-cum-re-regulation “solutions,” and in the sketch of an alternative solution.

 

Your comments and criticisms would be welcome.

 

Rick Wolff

 

Capitalism Hits the Fan

Richard Wolff on the Economic Meltdown

 

A Media Education Foundation Production

 

“With unerring coherence and unequal breadth of knowledge, Rick Wolff offers a rich and much needed corrective to the views of mainstream economists and pundits. It would be difficult to come away from this viewing with anything but an acute appreciation of what is needed to get us out of this mess” – Stanley Aronowitz, Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Urban Education, City University.

 

About the Movie

 

With breathtaking clarity, renowned University of Massachusetts Economics Professor Richard Wolff breraks down the root causes of today’s economic crisis, showing how it was decades in the making and in fact reflects seismic failures within the structures of American-style capitalism itself. Wolff traces the source of the economic crisis to the 1970s, when wages began to stagnate and American workers were forced into a dysfunctional spiral of borrowing and debt that ultimately exploded in the mortgage meltdown. By placing the crisis within this larger historical and systemic framework, Wolff argues convincingly that the proposed government “bailouts”, stimulus packages, and calls for increased market regulation will not be enough to address the real causes of the crisis – in the end suggesting that far more fundamental change will be necessary to avoid future catastrophes. Richly illustrated with motion graphics and charts, this is a superb introduction designed to help ordinary citizens understand, and react to, the unravelling economic crisis.

 

Preview the Movie at: http://www.capitalismhitsthefan.com/

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

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Postneoliberalism

 

 Dear colleagues

We are happy to announce the publication of a special issue of the journal “Development Dialogue” (Day Hammarskjöld Foundation) on the highly actual topic on Postneoliberalism.

Find below the table of contents.

In order to get a copy (for free), please send your mailing address to: secretariat@dhf.uu.se

Best wishes,
Nicola Sekler and Ulrich Brand
 

 

Development Dialogue 51 (January 2009)

Preface

Henning Melber

Postneoliberalism : catch-all word or valuable analytical and political concept? – Aims of a beginning debate

Ulrich Brand and Nicola Sekler

 

Ways out of the crisis of neoliberalism

Michael Brie

 

Postneoliberalism and its bifurcations

Ana Esther Ceceña

 

Postneoliberalism and post-Fordism: Is there a new period of capitalist mode of production?

Alex Demirovic

 

Postneoliberalism from and as a counter-hegemonic perspective

Nicola Sekler

 

Postneoliberalism or postcapitalism? The failure of neoliberalism in the financial market crisis

Elmar Altvater

 

‘Neoliberalism’ and development policy: dogma or progress?

Kurt Bayer

 

Environmental crises and the ambiguous postneoliberalising of nature

Ulrich Brand

 

The crisis of neoliberalism and the impasse of the union movement

Gregory Albo

 

Women peasants, food security and biodiversity in the crisis of neoliberalism

Christa Wichterich

 

On recent projects and experiences of the sufficiency economy: a critique

Chanida Chanyapate and Alec Bamford

 

Struggles against Wal-Martisation and neoliberal competitiveness in (southern) China: Towards postneoliberalism as an alternative?

Ngai-Ling Sum

 

Postneoliberalism in Latin America

Emir Sader

 

Notes on postneoliberalism in Argentina

Verónica Gago and Diego Sztulwark

 

Realistic postneoliberalism: A view from South Africa

Patrick Bond

 

 

Univ. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Brand

Universität Wien

Institut für Politikwissenschaft

Universitätsstr. 7/2, NIG

A-1010 Wien

Tel.: 0043-1-4277-49452 (oder –47702)

ulrich.brand@univie.ac.at

 

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

 

http://www.dhf.uu.se/publications.html