U.S. Military Spending and the up-coming G-20 Meeting

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Political Economy Research I am travelling in Europe for three weeks to discuss the global financial crisis with government officials, politicians and labor leaders. What is most remarkable is how differently the financial problem is perceived over here. Its like being in another economic universe, not just another continent. The U.S. media are silent about the most important topic policy makers are discussing here (and I suspect in Asia too): how to protect their countries from three inter-related dynamics: (1) the surplus dollars pouring into the rest of the world for yet further financial speculation and corporate takeovers; (2) the fact that central banks are obliged to recycle these dollar inflows to buy U.S. Treasury bonds to finance the federal U.S. budget ...

The Financial Sector: "A House Burning Down"

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Ben Bernanke’s False Analogy Global Research On the March 15 CBS show "60 Minutes", Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke used a false analogy already popularized by President Obama in his quasi-State of the Union Speech. He likened the financial sector to a house burning down – fair enough, as it is destroying property values, leading to foreclosures, abandonments, stripping (for copper wire and anything else recoverable) and certainly a devastation of value. The problem with this analogy was just where this building was situated, and its relationship to "other houses" (e.g., the rest of the economy). Mr. Bernanke asked what people should do if an irresponsible smoker let his bed catch fire so that the house burned down. Should the neighbor say, "it’s ...

Guns and Butter – "The Way We Were and What We Are Becoming"

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Interviewed by Bonnie Faulkner for Guns and Butter on KPFA radio, March 4th, 2009 "The Way We Were and What We Are Becoming" with financial economist and historian, Dr. Michael Hudson. We begin with an analysis of the continuing bailout of insurance giant AIG and Monday's stock market selloff; price and debt deflation; the two sectors of the economy; two definitions of 'free markets'; the classical economists; revolution from the right and the former Soviet states; the threat of war; IMF/World Bank resurgence; the dollar versus the euro; analogies to Rome, neo-feudalism. The interview can be heard here.