An overview of the way in which with increasing autonomisation of finance capital, models come to shape the real economy and influence its restructuring.
Arbitrage is defined as any technique to profit from differences in price between identical assets in different markets. At its simplest, if an asset is priced at £1000 in one country and at £1200 in another, I can buy in the cheaper market and sell in the more expensive and profit from the difference.
As the dispute continues in Marikana, and appears to be spreading to both other platinum mines and to more workers at Lonmin, is it worth taking a step back from the immediate actions and considering the broader economic effect of the strikes?
Before we do, however, a brief overview of the situation for those of you who haven't been keeping up, or who have been confused the reports in the press which have uncritically adopted the line put out by the tripartite alliance of the South African Communist Party (SACP), the trade union congress (COSATU) and the ANC.
On Tuesday the Universities and Colleges Union (UCU) held a special conference to determine where we go next in our pensions dispute. For those who haven't been following the intricacies of it all I'll attempt to briefly lay out where we were going into this meeting and what happened there.
UCU represents academic and what's known as academic related staff - that is IT support, librarians etc. - in both higher (HE) and further (FE) education.
Review and discussion of 'The Idea of Communism', a collection of essays discussing the place of communism in contemporary politics from Žižek, Toscano, Badiou and others
"From Plato onwards, Communism is the only political idea worthy of a philosopher" - Alain Badiou
"Do not be afraid, join us, come back! You've had your anti-communist fun, and you are pardoned for it - time to get serious again!" - Slavoj Žižek
As trade unions look set to sell out their members once again, workers need to stand together in the fight over pensions and refuse to allow ourselves to be picked off one by one with cosmetic concessions.
Yesterday Unison signed a heads of agreement with the government over changes to NHS pensions.
We are told today that we face a crisis. People are living longer, there is a demographic timebomb and, coupled with need to bring down deficit, we have no choice but to accept reductions in our pensions, the need to work longer, contribute more and get back less in the end.
In reality, none of this is true. As with reforms to tertiary education, welfare and the health service the government is simply using the excuse of the financial crisis to launch an attack on working people and the public institutions and frameworks we have built for ourselves over the past half century and more.
With a new wave of strikes fast approaching, workers and union officials have to decide on whose side they really are.
In two weeks time the UK will see the biggest coordinated day of strike action in decades; as many as 26 different unions representing everyone from chiropodists to teachers to tax inspectors may be out on strike in reaction to the government's plans to slash public sector pensions. Even the headteachers union (the NAHT) will be out, for the first time in its 114 year history.