Finance is Not the Economy

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JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ISSUES Vol. L No. 3 September 2016 DOI 10.1080/00213624.2016.1210384 Dirk Bezemer and Michael Hudson Dirk Bezemer is a professor of economics at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Michael Hudson is a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and a professor at Peking University. The authors thank the editor and two anonymous referees for helpful suggestions that greatly improved this article. Bezemer wishes to thank the Equilibrio Foundation and the Institute for New Economic Thinking for financial support. Any remaining errors are the authors’ own. Abstract: Conflation of real capital with finance capital is at the heart of current misunderstandings of economic crisis and recession. We ground this distinction in the classical analysis of rent ...

Obama said Hillary will Continue his Legacy – Indeed!

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Leading up to Monday’s Democratic Party convention, Hillary chose Blue Dog Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia as her VP. This was followed by the Wikileaks release of Democratic National Committee (DNC) e-mail files showing it acting as the Clinton Campaign Committee even to the point of using the same lawyers as her own campaign to oppose Bernie Sanders. The response across the Democratic neocon spectrum, from Anne Applebaum at the Washington Post to red-baiting Paul Krugman and the Sunday talk shows it was suggested that behind the Wikileaks to release DNC e-mails was a Russian plot to help elect Trump as their agent. Former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul lent his tattered reputation to claim that Putin must have ...

Financially Approved Financed History

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A Travesty of Financial History – which bank lobbyists will applaud Review of William Goetzmann, Money Changes Everything: How Finance Made Civilization Possible (Princeton University Press, 2016) Michael Hudson Debt mounts up faster than the means to pay. Yet there is widespread lack of awareness regarding what this debt dynamic implies. From Mesopotamia in the third millennium BC to the modern world, the way in which society has dealt with the buildup of debt has been the main force transforming political relations. Financial textbook writers tell happy-face fables that depict loans only as being productive and helping debtors, not as threatening social stability. Government intervention to promote economic growth and solvency by writing down debts and protecting debtors at creditors’ expense is accused of causing ...

The Brexit Silence

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As published on Counterpunch The media in the United States have treated the British vote against remaining in the European Union (EU) as if it is populist “Trumpism,” an inarticulate right-wing vote out of ignorance at being left behind by the neoliberal economic growth policy. The fact that Donald Trump happened to be in Scotland to promote his golf course helped frame the U.S. story that depicts the Brexit vote as a “Trump vs. Hillary” psychodrama – populist anger and resentment vs. intelligent policy. What is left out of this picture is that there is a sound logic to oppose membership in the EU. It is Nigel Farage’s slogan, “Take Back Control.” The question is, from whom? Not only from “bureaucrats,” but from ...

The Federal Reserve and the Global Fracture

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Interview with Antti J. Ronkainen, January 11, 2016, for Revalvaatio (Finland). Edited transcript. The Federal Reserve is the most significant central bank in the world. How does it contribute to the domestic policy of the United States?             The Federal Reserve supports the status quo. It would not want to create a crisis before the election. Today it is part of the Democratic Party’s re-election campaign, and its job is to serve Hillary Clinton’s campaign contributors on Wall Street. It is trying to spur recovery by resuming its Bubble Economy subsidy for Wall Street, not by supporting the industrial economy. What the economy needs is a debt writedown, not more debt leveraging such as Quantitative Easing has aimed to promote. But the ...

The Atlanticist Tactic Revisited

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Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson Two years ago, Russian officials discussed plans to privatize a group of national enterprises headed by the oil producer Rosneft, the VTB Bank, Aeroflot, and Russian Railways. The stated objective was to streamline management of these companies, and also to induce oligarchs to begin bringing their two decades of capital flight back to invest in the Russia economy. Foreign participation was sought in cases where Western technology transfer and management techniques would be likely to help the economy. However, the Russian economic outlook deteriorated as the United States pushed Western governments to ...

Listen Here

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Cross-posted from Paul Craig Roberts, who gives a very kind review of Killing the Host. February 1, 2016 The West Is Traveling The Road To Economic Ruin Paul Craig Roberts Michael Hudson is the best economist in the world. Indeed, I could almost say that he is the only economist in the world. Almost all of the rest are neoliberals, who are not economists but shills for financial interests. If you have not heard of Michael Hudson it merely shows the power of the Matrix. Hudson should have won several Nobel prizes in economics, but he will never get one. Hudson did not intend to be an economist. At the University of Chicago, which had a leading economics faculty, Hudson studied music and cultural ...

The IMF Changes its Rules to Isolate China and Russia

Michael Hudson A nightmare scenario of U.S. geopolitical strategists is coming true: foreign independence from U.S.-centered financial and diplomatic control. China and Russia are investing in neighboring economies on terms that cement Eurasian integration on the basis of financing in their own currencies and favoring their own exports. They also have created the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an alternative military alliance to NATO. And the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) threatens to replace the IMF and World Bank tandem in which the United States holds unique veto power. More than just a disparity of voting rights in the IMF and World Bank is at stake. At issue is a philosophy of development. U.S. and other foreign investment in infrastructure (or buyouts ...

IMF forgives Ukraine’s Debt to Russia

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UNsplash.com On December 8, the IMF’s Chief Spokesman Gerry Rice sent a note saying: “The IMF's Executive Board met today and agreed to change the current policy on non-toleration of arrears to official creditors. We will provide details on the scope and rationale for this policy change in the next day or so.” Since 1947 when it really started operations, the World Bank has acted as a branch of the U.S. Defense Department, from its first major chairman John J. McCloy through Robert McNamara to Robert Zoellick and neocon Paul Wolfowitz. From the outset, it has promoted U.S. exports – especially farm exports – by steering Third World countries to produce plantation crops rather than feeding their own populations. (They are to ...