The 1% and Piketty

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More at The Real News Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. And welcome to this edition of The Hudson Report. Now joining us is Michael Hudson. Michael is a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His two newest books are The Bubble and Beyond and Finance Capitalism and Its Discontents. Thanks for joining us, Michael. MICHAEL HUDSON, PROF. ECONOMICS, UNIV. OF MISSOURI, KANSAS CITY: Thank you, Jessica. DESVARIEUX: So, Michael, this week we're going to be talking about the very popular book by French economist Thomas Piketty. It's a 700-page book that takes on the topic of income inequality. Why do you think so many people are talking about this book? What's in ...

Obama channeling Cheney?

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More at The Real News I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. And welcome to this edition of The Hudson Report. Now joining us is Michael Hudson. He is a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His two newest books are The Bubble and Beyond and Finance Capitalism and Its Discontents. Thanks for joining us, Michael. MICHAEL HUDSON, PROF. ECONOMICS, UMKC: Thank you, Jessica. DESVARIEUX: So, Micheal, what are you tracking this week? HUDSON: The big news is all about the Ukraine. And it's about the events that happened in the shootings on February 20. Late last week, the German television program ARD Monitor, which is sort of their version of 60 Minutes here, had an investigative report of the shootings ...

Anti-Russian sentiment a resource play diversion

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Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. Hundreds of pro-Russian protesters have seized public buildings in Eastern Ukrainian cities. They're demanding referendums to secede from Ukraine in order to become a part of Russia. Ukrainian officials have blamed Putin for this continued unrest, but it should be noted that Ukraine is a major transit route for natural gas exports to Europe from Russia, and now Russia is warning Ukrainian officials that they need to pay back the $2.2 billion debt owed to the Russian natural gas company Gazprom. German and French officials are also working towards a quick implementation of a $14-18 billion International Monetary Fund loan package to the Ukraine. Now joining us to discuss ...

R is for Rentier

The latest instalment to the Insider's Economic Dictionary. Race to the bottom: A term for dog-eat-dog competition by which countries compete by cutting wage levels so as to produce in the cheapest market, not by raising wages and labor productivity. The effect is to shrink the circular flow between producers and employee-consumers, leading to declining living standards. Under these circumstances productivity is increased only by working the existing labor force more intensively and cutting back medical insurance, old-age pensions and other social welfare expenditures. (See Free Market.) The state of Alabama shows the inner contradiction inherent in this policy. When the state cut back educational and health spending in order to minimize taxes, ostensibly to attract business, global companies pulled out on ...

P is for Ponzi

Part P in The Insiders Economic Dictionary. Panic: The abrupt culminating stage of the business cycle, in which inflated asset prices collapse in price as financial securities and properties are sold to pay off debts. Parallel Universe: The objective of modern economic methodology. A hypothetical exercise in science fiction depicting a world that conceivably could exist, given a sufficient number of internally consistent assumptions. (See Neoclassical Economics.) Parasite: A “free luncher,” from the Latin word meaning an uninvited guest brought along to a meal or crashing the party. Parasites avoid detection by camouflaging themselves as part of the host itself, and then disable the host’s brain to prevent it from taking counter-measures to protect its own growth. The economic analogue most often cited ...

Crimea: Geo-Political Gas

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More at The Real News Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout? Economists Michael Hudson and Jeffrey Sommers discuss how provisions in an IMF deal like cuts to gas subsidies and pensions will hurt the average Ukrainian citizens and benefit kleptocrats - March 21, 14 Bio JEFFREY SOMMERS is an associate professor and Senior Fellow of the Institute of World Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is also visiting faculty at the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga. He is co-editor of the forthcoming book The Contradictions of Austerity. In addition to CounterPunch he also publishes in The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Guardian, TruthOut and regularly appears as an expert on global television. Michael ...

Russia, Crimea and the Consequences of NATO Policy

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Ukrainian Hangovers AS first published on Counterpunch by JEFFREY SOMMERS and MICHAEL HUDSON Russia’s incursion (invasion if you prefer) into Crimea, with prospects for movement into Eastern Ukraine, is the culmination of US/NATO policy since 1991. The unraveling of the USSR and its Soviet bloc (the Warsaw Pact) dismantled the largest empire in modern history. Even more striking, it was the most peaceful dissolution of a major empire in history. The fact that an empire stretching over a dozen time zones that included hundreds of ethnic groups with concrete historical and contemporary grievances with each other broke up without a bloodbath is nothing short of a miraculous – and a reflection of the destruction of spirit and even of economic understanding that marked the ...

Ukraine, Austerity….Again?

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An interview with WBEZ on the one-sided view of economic reform. WBEZ writes: Both the U.S. and the E.U. have pledged aid packages to help Ukraine's new government stabilize the country's economy. The IMF also has a team on the ground in Ukraine, currently analyzing the country's debt crisis. They expect to make recommendations for reforms that are required for Ukraine to secure an IMF loan. But, not everyone agrees that austerity and cuts in wages and government subsidies are good for Ukraine. Michael Hudson, professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and author of The Bubble and Beyond, weighs in on the debate.

Ukraine: “Go West, Young Man”

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By Jeffrey Sommers & Michael Hudson As first published on Truth Out "Let them loot." That is the demand of the West when its NGO subsidiaries firebomb government buildings, murder policemen and loot the arms depots of military forts. Kiev is the equivalent of Kosovo as a Slavic city-of-origin. Are we seeing a replay? What would Dick Cheney (or President Obama for that matter) have done if Russian NGOs sponsored separatist movements in Texas, California or New England? How would US police have reacted against armed revolutionaries seizing the armory and throwing Molotov cocktails and bombs at public buildings, killing police, painting swastikas on Jewish houses and claiming vigilante justice? While this does not characterize all of the Ukrainian protesters, it ...