what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Romanian art and the financial crisis

Bucharest is not conducive to thinking and blogging. Too many distractions (TV, Museums and bookshops) and too little space in the flat. Wednesday we visited the National Gallery – for about the third time – and it did this time open my eyes. Not only to the Grigorescu paintings which I had previously overlooked – but also other 19th century artists such as Theodor Aman and Ion Andreescu. Josef Iser and Sam Muetzner are also intersting examples of mid 20th century painters.
Another reason for my recent blog silence is that I have been trying to understand the latest financial catastrophe which has overtaken our economic system – realising that Marxism had much more offer to offer than I had thought. Let me qualify that – I always realised that Marxist analysis was superior to any other but could not go along with the simplistic prescriptions associated with that. Karl Popper was the guy who put me on the pluralist path. In the last few weeks I have rattled through David Harvey’s Enigma of Capitaland Robert Peston’s Who Runs Britain?Each complements the other. The first book supplies the long-term and more abtract perspective. Surplus capital always requires innovation to restore profits – whether from immigration, privatisation, out-sourcing etc. And Peston – as the BBC financial correspondent – shows us how it all works in practice (eg the story of Marks and Spencers)
And am looking forward to Arrighi’s theoretical tour de force Adam Smith in Beijing when I return shortly to cold Sirnea.
Yesterday I came across a very useful publication about the Future of bankingwhich offers an overdue consumer's view of the crisis and what should be done. Finally an article which exposes the corruption of the economics profession in the USA
The painting is a Grigorescu.

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