Rentier Capitalism – Veblen in the 21st century

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In 2012 a conference was held on Thorstein Veblen in Istanbul. It was sponsored by a socialist labor union, the Chamber of Electrical Engineers. We were asked why not focus on Marx. My answer was that Marx had died a generation earlier, and the major critique of finance capitalism had passed to Veblen. This book (from which my following remarks are excerpted) is a series of essays, including by myself and another NC friend, Michael Perelman. The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism Michael Hudson Edited excerpt from Michael Hudson and Ahmet Oncu, eds., Absentee Ownership and its Discontents: Critical Essays on the legacy of Thorstein Veblen (ISLET 2016, $35). Simon Patten recalled in 1912 that ...

Democracy’s Debt Ladder

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Economic 'Recovery' Feels Weak Because the Great Recession Hasn't Really Ended, The Real News Network, October 7, 2016. The IMF foretells of vulnerable banks in US and EU while enabling unsustainable debt-leveraging, says economist Michael Hudson. KIM BROWN, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Kim Brown, in Baltimore. With the worst of the great recession, supposedly, behind us, economic analysts still see signs that we’re not yet completely out of the woods. A new report released Wednesday by the International Monetary Fund shows that some banks in the United States and Europe may not be strong enough to survive another downturn, even with States assistance. Joining us from ...

Review of James Galbraith, Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice (2016)

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Tim Evans Galbraith’s articles and interviews collected in this book (ending in October 2015) traces his growing exasperation at the “troika” – the European Central Bank (ECB), IMF and EU bureaucracy – which refused to loosen their demand that Greece impoverish its economy to a degree worse than the Great Depression. The fight against Greece was, in a nutshell, a rejection of parliamentary democracy after the incoming Syriza coalition of left-wing parties won election in January 2015 on a platform of resisting austerity and privatization. The world has seen the result: In contrast to the support given to countries with right-wing regimes, the ECB and IMF tightened their financial screws on Greece. The incoming finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis – ...

Can Russia Learn From Brazil’s Fate?

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by Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson September 28, 2016 William Engdahl recently explained how Washington used the corrupt Brazilian elite, which answers to Washington, to remove the duly elected President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, for representing the Brazilian people rather than the interests of Washington. Unable to see through the propaganda of unproven charges, Brazilians acquiesced in the removal of their protector, thereby providing the world another example of the impotence of democracy. Everyone should read Engdahl’s article. He reports that part of the attack on Rousseff stemmed from Brazil’s economic problems deliberately created by US credit rating agencies as part of Washington’s attack to down grade Brazilian debt, which set off an attack on the Brazilian currency. Brazil’s financial openness ...

Celebrating the One Percent: Is Inequality Really Good for the Economy?

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To paraphrase Mark Twain, everyone complains about inequality, but nobody does anything about it. What they do is to use “inequality” as a takeoff point to project their own views on how to make society more prosperous and at the same time more equal. These views largely depend on whether they view the One Percent as innovative, smart and creative, making wealth by helping the rest of society – or whether, as the great classical economists wrote, the wealthiest layer of the population consist of rentiers, making their income and wealth off the 99 Percent as idle landlords, monopolists and predatory bankers. Economic statistics show fairly worldwide trends in inequality. After peaking in the 1920s, the reforms of the Great Depression helped ...

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 ...

Post-Convention Candidates

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August 4 SHARMINI PERIES: It’s the Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. Now that the Democratic and the Republican Party conventions are over, the U.S. presidential campaign is entering its last phase before the actual vote in November. Normally this should the point at which each party is very internally united and focusing on presenting its own program and attacking the opponent. However this time around, it seems each party continues to be more divided than ever. More and more Republicans are defecting from Donald Trump. And on the Democratic side, the debate is still raging about who supporters of Bernie Sanders should vote for in November. With us to present his analysis of the post-conventions and ...

Presidential Wanna Bees

An interview on Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert's new podcast Double Down. Of the citizens of the declining Roman empire, it was said: “Give them bread and circuses and they will never revolt.” So true is this of all such citizens of declining empire that every four years American presidential wannabes even promise revolution but know that the voter will ask only for more bread, circuses and… taco bowls. Dr. Michael Hudson joins Double Down to talk about the economic reality behind the Trump voter and about whether or not, as it is claimed, Hillary Clinton is the ‘most progressive’ candidate in Democratic history. Listen here