• Commentary,  Environment & Work,  Finance,  Inequality

    The Contradictions of ‘Caring Capitalism’

    Many companies these days try to promote a ‘socially responsible’ image: giving money to charities, speaking broadly about ‘stakeholders’ and ‘sustainability’, and even joining debates about issues like racism. But when it comes to their own bottom lines, few diverge from the fundamental goals of minimizing costs, avoiding taxes, and maximizing profits – regardless of the harm that might result to their workers, communities, or the environment. In this commentary, originally published in the Toronto Star, Jim Stanford takes aim at contradictions of this ‘kinder, gentler’ image corporations are trying to create. His jumping-off point is Hasbro’s effort to improve the image of its iconic Monopoly board game. The commentary…

  • Commentary,  Finance,  Inequality

    The Revolution Will Not be Led by Day Traders

    Global financial markets have been roiled since the New Year by dramatic surges in shares of several companies – even more gut-wrenching than the usual twists and turns of the paper markets. The rise and quick fall of GameStop shares was the most stunning; some observers attributed its volatility to a “populist” attack (by small-scale retail traders) on the elite bastions of high finance. Jim Stanford begs to differ: in this commentary (originally published in the Toronto Star), he argues the growing popularity of day-trading is not challenging the dominance of financial elites… it is reinforcing it. GameStop Shenanigans Only Enriched the Wealthy By Jim Stanford For a few exhilarating…

  • Commentary,  COVID,  Finance,  Macroeconomics

    The Gap between Stock Markets and Society has Never Been Greater

    It seems counter-intuitive that North American financial markets have been on a tear for several months, in some cases setting all-time record highs – even as the COVID pandemic proves deadlier and longer-lasting than we all hoped for. In this commentary, originally published in the Toronto Star, Jim Stanford considers this “cognitive dissonance” between the exuberance of stock markets and the hardship of the real world. Booming Financial Markets Belie Social Hardship Canadians have confronted an avalanche of depressing news about the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying recession: infections, deaths, job losses, bankruptcies. Amidst the doom and gloom, however, one light shines brightly. Even as fears of a second wave intensify,…