It’s Our Money

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I was interviewed on Ellen Brown's radio show "It’s Our Money", where she writes: Is the financial deprivation of entire nations engendering a new level of frustration and political unrest? Are the unlikely top-ranked US presidential candidates a sign that the Europeans aren’t the only ones who want to “throw the bums out?” Ellen engages these emerging political themes in her conversation with renown author, advisor and Economics professor Michael Hudson, just back from his consultations with Greece’s Syriza party. Download the episode (right click and save)

EU Infrastructure Undermines Sovereignty

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The Financial Attack on Greece: Where To From Here? The major financial problem tearing economies apart over the past century has lain more with official inter-governmental debt than with private-sector debt. That is why the global economy today faces a similar breakdown to 1929-31, when it became apparent that the volume of official inter-government debts could not be paid. The Versailles Treaty had imposed impossibly high reparations demands on Germany, and the United States imposed equally destructive demands on the Allies to use their reparations receipts to pay World War I arms debts to the U.S. Government. Legal procedures are well established to cope with corporate and personal bankruptcy. Courts write down personal and business debts either under “debtor in control” ...

Why No Means Yes

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Greece Rejects the Troika. Where Do We Go From Here? Just after 7 PM Greek time on Sunday, I was told that the “No” vote (Gk. Oxi) was winning approximately 60/40. The “opinion polls” showing a dead heat evidently were wrong. Bookies across Europe are reported to be losing their shirts for betting that the financial right wing could fool most Greeks into voting against their self-interest. The margin of victory shows that Greek voters were immune to media misrepresentation during the week-long run-up as to whether to accept the troika’s demand for austerity to be conducted on anti-labor lines. It should not have been so great a surprise. Voting age for the referendum was lowered to 18 years, and included ...

Pawns for Pickings

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cross posted from The Nation Ukraine Is In Crisis. Here’s Why the West Can’t Save It. A video roundtable explains why the IMF, Europe, and Western corporations don’t have the country’s best interests at heart. Alexander Reed Kelly June 9, 2015 A Ukrainian national flag flutters in the wind at a position held by the Ukrainian armed forces near the town of Maryinka in eastern Ukraine. (Reuters/Gleb Garanich) Nearly a year and a half after the Euromaidan protests ushered a new government into power in Kiev, Ukraine is still in trouble. Some 6,200 people have been killed, more than 15,000 wounded, and 1.2 million internally displaced in a civil war that had by mid-March, according to the new president, Petro Poroshenko, destroyed “around 25 percent of ...

Ukraine Labor Dares Operation Vulture

Ukraine’s collapse since the February 2014 coup has become an umbrella for grabitization. Collateral damage in this free-for-all has been labor. Many workers are simply not getting paid, and what they actually are being paid is often illegally low. Employers are taking whatever money is in their business accounts and squirreling it away – preferably abroad, or at least in foreign currency. Wage arrears are getting worse, because as Ukraine approaches the eve of defaulting on its €10+ billion London debt, kleptocrats and business owners are jumping ship. They see that foreign lending has dried up and the exchange rate will plunge further. The Rada’s announcement last week that it shifted €8 billion from debt service to spend on a  new ...

Institutional Discontent

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Europe Tilts East Towards China (1/2) Michael Hudson Report: Britain, German, France and Italy are among those who joined Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in an expression of their discontent over World Bank polices that force developing countries to depend on the US - March 20, 2015 SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. The Asian Infrastructure Development Bank, an Asian rival to the World Bank, was launched by the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, last year. Initially it was an Asian initiative, but last week, U.K. was the first European country to join the bank information, causing some friction between U.S. and Britain. Now a few more ...

QE Intentions All Too Obvious

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“Quantitative Easing for Whom? TRNN, March 11, 2015. The European Central Bank’s trillion euro plan will only help keep the banks afloat. SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. In an effort to relieve some pressure on the struggling European economies, Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, announced a 1 trillion euro quantitative easing package on Monday. Quantitative easing is an unconventional form of monetary policy where a central bank creates new money electronically to buy financial assets like government bonds. And this process aims to directly increase private-sector spending in the economy and return inflation to target. Well, what does that mean and what might be wrong ...

T is for Trickle-Down

Part T in the Insider's Economic Dictionary Tableau Économique: The first formal national-income account, developed by the Physiocrat Francois Quesnay on the analogy of the circulation of blood within the human body. (See Economist, Say’s Law.) Taxation: The way in which a government gives value to money by accepting it in payment of taxes or for public services (see State Theory of Money and Chartalism). The basic fiscal-financial principle at work is that whatever revenue the tax collector relinquishes is available to be pledged for debt service. Without taxation, much more of the economic surplus would be taken by the financial sector, especially inasmuch as government money has less basis for issuing its own money and credit as the tax base shrinks. ...

Ukraine denouement

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The  Russian loan and the IMF’s One-Two Punch The fate of Ukraine is now shifting from the military battlefield back to the arena that counts most: that of international finance. Kiev is broke, having depleted its foreign reserves on waging war that has destroyed its industrial export and coal mining capacity in the Donbass (especially vis-à-vis Russia, which normally has bought 38 percent of Ukraine’s exports). Deeply in debt (with €3 billion falling due on December 20 to Russia), Ukraine faces insolvency if the IMF and Europe do not release new loans next month to pay for new imports as well as Russian and foreign bondholders. Finance Minister Natalia Yaresko announced on Friday that she hopes to see the money begin to ...