Capital & Class. - 1989. - Issue 38 issue 38 by Conference of Socialist Economists

By Conference of Socialist Economists

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In other words, the 'exclusive reign of centralisation logic . . impede[s] the restruc- 53 Capital & Class 54 turing of capitalist ownership through the elimination of defective capitalist units' (De Vroey 1984 :387) thus eroding the basis of surplus value production in the circuits of industrial capital . An acceleration of credit expansion becomes necessary to prevent the failure of industrial capitals and banks which have limped along on the basis of borrowings and repayment commitments in excess of their ex-post receipts : If swelling credit and inflation prevent such a 'sanitation' of the capitalist economy - in other words, if a periodic plunge in prices, a periodic adjustment of market prices to commodity values (production prices) is artificially forestalled - a whole series of capitalist enterprises which have already fallen below the average productivity of labor in their sector may escape the devalorization of their capital, or bankruptcy, for a longer period .

1o Crotty's analysis of the development of contractual arrangements under scr is quite relevant here (Crotty 1985 :57ff, see also Reuten 1988) . Buyers and sellers who engage in 'regularly repeated transactions' may commit themselves to future sales and purchases 'to reduce the uncertainty involved in obtaining a given commodity at a given time at a given price' (Crotty 1985 :57-58). This type of contract entails an agreement to exchange money and commodities at a certain ratio in the future, and hence no credit is involved .

However, banks may fill this gap by issuing media of exchange (credit money) underwritten by bills of exchange purchased by the banks themselves . Of course, the quality (exchange value) of the credit money issued by a bank is only as good as the bank's portfolio of bills . scr thus creates a possible role for a central bank which regulates the quality of bank moneys . , a gold standard) . ' In this view, '{h)igher-order institutions guarantee the quality of money at a lower order in the hierarchy' (ibid) .

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