Mark Metzler - Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Monday, October 7, 2013 - 4:30pm
Room 203, Luce Hall
34 Hillhouse Ave.New Haven, CT 06511
PRICE INFLATION is intrinsic to new capital creation in modern capitalism, and “inflationary accumulation” via the banking system has funded rapid industrial growth. This idea was sketched out by Joseph Schumpeter 100 years ago, though it has been mostly forgotten since. Japan in the 20th century illustrates this process very clearly, as I explore in my bookCapital as Will and Imagination: Schumpeter’s Guide to the Postwar Japanese Miracle(Cornell, 2013). The 20th century was also the most inflationary century in history.
Already, the 21st century looks different. Japan is where the modern-age inflation first ended, when the great bubble deflated in the 1990s. Twenty years after Japan’s bubble, we saw the collapse of global financial bubbles centered on New York and London. The details of their ongoing deflation are still in the news and will continue to be. Do we see here the limits of the “Schumpeterian” financial mechanism that funded the heroic age of industrial growth?