Multinational Monitor

MAY 1999
VOL 20 No. 5


Book Busters: Corporate Consolidation in Book Publishing and Selling, and the Decline of Diversity
by William Petrocelli


Explaining Inequality
an interview with
James Galbraith


Confronting Corporations

A Siamese Tragedy

At Any Cost: The Wal-Mart and GE Juggernauts

A Dirty Business

Shifting Fortunes and Rising Inequality


Behind the Lines

The Trouble With Larry

The Front
The Bank's Tibet Troubles - The Vitamin Fix - The Lawrence Summers Memorial Award

Names In the News


Books and Business

Book Busters: Corporate Consolidation in Book Publishing and Selling, and the Decline of Diversity

by William Petrocelli

Here is the disheartening news in the bookselling business - chainstore expansion in the last decade has doubled the amount of retail bookselling space in the United states; the decade has also witnessed a decline in the number of books sold per year to adults in the United States; books are starting to shift from mid-list, quality books to a limited number of bestsellers. More stores and less books? More celebrity bestsellers and fewer quality books? How can this happen? MORE >>

Confronting Corporations

Corporation Nation is and is not a book in the old-time populist tradition. In its incisive and slashing critique of corporate dominance of the US and world economy, politics, and society, it is self-consciously animated by nineteenth century populist sensibilities. Three dominant tendencies characterize the present era, Charles Derber argues. The first is the rise of giant corporate empires as companies merge, enter joint ventures and align themselves in integrated businesses. The second is the shrinkage of the federal government and its diminishing role as a source of countervailing power to business - and its concomitantly expanding role as an advocate for corporations. The third trend is the erosion of labor unions...

...Although it ends with many similar "what-can-you-do-now" recommendations (e.g., join an advocacy group, use consumer power to support socially responsible businesses), The Post-Corporate World proposes a very different conceptual approach than Corporation Nation, and it suggests the need for a more profound challenge to corporate power. MORE >>

A Siamese Tragedy

Walden Bello has consistently supplied the most incisive analyses of the financial crisis which overtook Asia in 1997 and lingers to the present. The three key features of his assessment have been: a precise explanation of how the nineties influx of foreign capital into Asian countries was directed into speculative investments that did not build the real economy; an insistence that although foreign hot money and speculation were the proximate causes of the crisis, fundamental weaknesses in the real economies of the Asian Tigers underlay the financial collapse; and a consistent focus on how class divisions contributed to the crisis. In A Siamese Tragedy, Bello and his co-authors turn their attention to a detailed case study of the financial crisis in Thailand. MORE >>

Explaining Inequality

an interview with James Galbraith

James K. Galbraith is professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the Department of Government, University of Texas at Austin. He is former executive director of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee. He is author of Created Equal: The Crisis in American Pay (1998) as well as Balancing Acts: Technology, Finance and the American Future. (1989), and has published articles in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the American Prospect, and many other publications. MORE >>


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