The Delicious Irony of Morris Greenberg’s AIG Suit Against the US Treasury

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When the financial bubble burst in September 2008, U.S. and European governments responded by shifting bank losses onto their own balance sheets. The pretense is that real growth cannot resume until the banks and speculators are “made whole.” To cover the cost of bailing out the banks, governments now are trying to run budget surpluses. This adds fiscal deflation to the debt deflation left in the bubble’s wake, shrinking the economy at large. Governments are to raise taxes (or simply print new debt to swap for the financial sector’s bad loans and gambles) to reimburse financial institutions whose lending and outright gambling (not to mention the excursion into financial ...

Latvia’s Economic Disaster as a Neoliberal Success Story: A Model for Europe and the US?

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by Jeffrey Sommers and Michael Hudson A generation ago the Chicago Boys and their financial supporters applauded General Pinochet’s anti-labor Chile as a success story, thanks mainly to its transformation of their Social Security into Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) that almost universally were looted by the employer grupos by the end of the 1970s. In the last decade, the Bush Administration, seeking a Trojan Horse to privatize Social Security in the United States, applauded Chile’s disastrous privatization of pension accounts (turning many over to US financial institutions) even as that nation’s voters rejected the Pinochetistas largely out of anger at the vast pension rip-off by high finance. ...