There are very clear reasons behind these sanctions – and they are not related to national security. It’s all about “free market” competition.Read More
Cold Wars are useful for capitalists. They can justify massive military expenditure; they can justify patriotism and squashing dissent; they can justify loyalty to the strong leader. The trade war Trump has started might sound good to his base, but is likely to hurt many of them, as Canada, Europe and China are smart when they retaliate, knowing fully well that they will harm his base.
So part of Trump’s goal is to fire up his base by being tough on the foreigners. Trump has decided that the US is in a power struggle with China for global dominance. He is not the first US capitalist politician to believe that. US strategists have talked about making a pivot to China for more than a decade now. Trump has decided to lurch toward China.
Trump is trying to square a globalized world through a national-based American capitalism. It won’t work. And the more the US government tries to achieve that the more the dollar and American power falls into decline. Which makes US militarism a greater compensatory danger.Read More
After all, that’s how the west, Europe in particular, has enslaved, plundered and raped Asia, Africa and Latin America for centuries. So, what the World Bank does today is but a modern continuation of colonialism disguised as development assistance.Read More
On Reality Asserts Itself, Prof. Leo Panitch says it’s a dilemma that the gradualism of European social-democracy and attempts at a more radical transformation have so far both failed; Panitch says a first step towards democratizing the economy is to make finance a public utility – with host Paul JayRead More
Chamath Palihapitiya, a venture capitalist and owner of the Golden State Warriors, put a name to it: Amazon, he told an audience of fellow investors, “is a multitrillion-dollar monopoly hiding in plain sight.”
Economists have recently begun to document a link between corporate concentration and rising inequality. Dominant companies, they’re finding, are funneling the spoils to a small number of people at the top. And by reducing the number of their competitors, these companies are also making it harder for workers to get a fair wage and for producers to get a fair price. A particularly troubling data point in this research is the loss of a long-standing pathway to a middle-class life: starting a business. The number of new firms launched each year has fallen by nearly two-thirds since 1980, and many economists believe that corporate power is to blame.
The IMF’s main task consists in stabilizing the global financial system and helping out troubled countries in times of crisis. In reality, its operations are more reminiscent of warring armies. Wherever it intervenes, it undermines the sovereignty of states by forcing them to implement measures that are rejected by the majority of the population, thus leaving behind a broad trail of economic and social devastation.
Because of its global status as “lender of last resort” governments usually have no choice but to accept the IMF’s offer and submit to its terms – thus getting caught in a web of debt, which they, as a result of interest, compound interest and principal, get deeper and deeper entangled in. The resulting strain on the state budget and the domestic economy inevitably leads to a deterioration of their financial situation, which the IMF in turn uses as a pretext for demanding ever new concessions in the form of “austerity programs”.
The consequences are disastrous for the ordinary people of the countries affected (which are mostly low-income) because their governments all follow the same pattern, passing the effects of austerity on to wage earners and the poor.
IMF programs have cost millions of people their jobs, denied them access to adequate health care, functioning educational systems and decent housing. They have rendered their food unaffordable, increased homelessness, robbed old people of the fruits of life-long work, favored the spread of diseases, reduced life expectancy and increased infant mortality.
Greece is the microcosm case example of the new form of 21st century imperialism. In ‘Looting Greece: A New Financial Imperialism Emerges’, published in 2016 by Clarity Press, I described this new form of exploitation organized at the State to State level on a national scale, in which State institutions and apparatuses now play, in the 21st century, an increasing direct role in extracting surplus and value from workers and small business classes on behalf of the big capitalist banks. This is a form of imperialism different from pre-20th century (described in the classic work by Hobson) and early 20th century explanations (influenced heavily by Lenin and Hilferding).Read More
Wall Street did not let the Lehman Brothers crisis go to waste. The banks that have paid the largest fines for financial fraud are now much bigger and more profitable. The victims of their junk mortgage loans are poorer, and the economy is facing debt deflation.
Was it worth it? What was not saved was the economy.
An elderly couple in Western Australia found themselves to be victims of a mortgage fraud that ultimately cost them about $200,000 and their marriage, when a door-to-door salesman on behalf of a real estate developer pushed them toward an overpriced home purchase – and one of Australia’s “big four” banks, Westpac reportedly modified the couple’s disclosed income in order to get them a loan that they shouldn’t have qualified for.
Brailey concluded that the banks, government and FOS were “all in unison like a big bloody club trying to convince the public that these people deserve what they get because they’re greedy, sophisticated investors.
An analyst from UBS, Jonathan Mott, has estimated that as much of $500 billion worth of Australia’s $1.7 trillion mortgage book could be made up of similar types of loans, often referred to as “liar loans”.
Skyrocketing debt, Wall Street deregulation, a fraying social safety net, and a diminished dollar could soon leave the United States looking like Greece.Read More
Venezuela is an economic and human rights tragedy. Turkey, Argentina and Indonesia, all major emerging-market economies, are in complete meltdown. India, Malaysia, Brazil and Mexico are in the midst of currency collapses. South Africa is in recession. China’s growth is slowing and its debt is unsustainable. The trade war between the U.S. and China is starting to take its toll and will get worse.
Note from editor: Since next year there will be an election in Indonesia, beware that those in power (the local and foreign elites) might exploit this fragile economic condition to further their political agenda. The economic situation today in Indonesia mimics that of 1998 financial crisis.
US GDP is up 38% but the US national debt has increased 122%. Overall government debt across the world has TRIPLED since Lehman’s collapse to $63 trillion. The economy is at a risk of another financial crisis.Read More
Great article from Yanis Varoufakis, an economist and ex Greece Minister of Finance. Since 2008 financial crisis, politicians went into overdrive to shift the losses from those who created them (the bankers) onto the shoulders of the innocent (middle class debtors, waged labourers, the unemployed, those on disability payments and the taxpayers who could not afford to set up off-shore accounting units). In Europe, in particular, one proud nation was turned against another by political elites determined to disguise: (A) a crisis caused by an alliance of Northern and Southern bankers and other rent-seeking oligarchs, into (B) a clash caused by the profligate Southerners and ant-like Northerners or as as crisis of over-generous German, Greek, Italian etc. social welfare systems. As a result, racism and generalised misanthropy is now triumphing in the United States and, especially, in Europe.Read More
From Democracy Now Today Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Ro Khanna introduced the Stop BEZOS Act, that would tax large corporations like Amazon and Walmart for every dollar their low-wage …Read More