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 ...

Socrates: debt and the cyclical rise and fall of societies

Last week I attended a wonderful conference in the university town of Tübingen, Germany, on “Debt: The First 3500 Years,” to bring ancient historians together to discuss David Graeber’s book Debt: The First 5000 Years. I was enlightened by two papers in particular. Doctoral fellow Moritz Hinsch from Berlin collected what Socrates (470-399 BC) and other Athenians wrote about debt, and the conference’s organizer, Prof. John Weisweiler, presented the new view of late imperial Rome as being still a long way from outright serfdom. The 99 Percent were squeezed, but “the economy” grew – in a way ...

Global Financialization 2015 – The state of play

Cross-posted from The Saker The Saker: We hear that the Ukraine will have to declare a default, but that it will probably be a "technical" default as opposed to an official one. Some say that the decision of the Rada to allow Iatseniuk to chose whom to pay is already such a "technical default". Is there such thing as a "technical default" and, if yes, how would it be different in terms of consequences for the Ukraine for a "regular" default? Michael Hudson: A default is a default. The attempted euphemism of “technical” default came up with regard to the Greek debt in 2012 at the G8 meetings. Geithner and Obama lobbied the IMF and ECB shamelessly to bail out Greece, simply ...

Sovereignty in the Ancient Near East

Prof Michael Hudson on the Ancient Near East by Renegadeeconomists on Mixcloud 04/01/2015 An interview on the new book - Labor in the Ancient World, the latest in our series on the Ancient Near East, co-edited with Piotr Steinkeller. Support our work by buying a copy.  Karl: Welcome to the Renegade Economists with your host, Karl Fitzgerald. This week we’re stepping back in time, way back some 10,000 years BC into the world of archaeology, Egyptology and Assyriology. Yes, it’s time for another special with Professor Michael Hudson. That’s right, Michael Hudson back on the show, he’s got a new book called Labor in the Ancient World and I asked him to give a precis on the background to this very interesting study. ...

Surviving Progress transcript

Below are the transcripts from the film Surviving Progress I was a part of. The film can be purchased here. Canada FILM group on PROGRESS 2010: The Road to Debt Serfdom Cinémaginaire, ASHOP (USA): Interview with Michael Hudson – Tapes #112-113-114 Theme: In the name of “progress,” the world is regressing to neoserfdom. Mainstream economics has become a body of assumptions selected to rationalize a “trickle-down” tax policy favoring the financial sector driving the rest of the economy into debt, turning the economic surplus into interest charges – to be recycled into yet more debt creation. Claiming that wealth at the top pulls up the rest (“the rich are job creators”), the policy inference is to shift taxes off financial wealth and property ...

Geithner Turfed Out by EU Bankers

Prof Hudson appears on the Renegade Economists radio show to discuss the economic growth trap, compound interest, Sumeria, the corruption of economics and how US interests are flexing in the debate over what constitutes a CDO default in the EU. This interview was conducted just days before Greece was given another reprieve. Recorded March 7th Listen to the interview recorded March 7th. Transcription: MH: Prof Michael Hudson, Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. KF: Karl Fitzgerald KF: Professor Michael Hudson, welcome back to the show! Our listeners certainly appreciate your time. Can you explain to us why economic growth is necessary? MH: Well for one thing, populations grow and so you have to provide more goods and services. For another thing, people expect to ...

After the Ice Age

After the Ice Age: How Calendar-keeping shaped Early Social Structuring Michael Hudson (UMKC) in Paul G. Bahn, ed., An Enquiring Mind: Studies in Honor of Alexander Marshack (American school of prehistoric research monograph series, Oxford and Oakville: Oxbow Books, 2009):149-53. I first met Alex Marshack in 1982 at a lecture he gave in New York City, where we both lived. That evening he described the Paleolithic “time-factored” notational systems and monuments that traced the rhythms of the moon and sun, and how Neolithic calendars governed the rhythms of planting and harvesting, as well as the rites of passage and social integration via festivals that were occasions for gift exchange and intermarriage. After the talk I introduced myself to him, and more than ...

The New Economic Archaeology of Debt

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Introduction to Debt and Economic Renewal in the Ancient Near East (ed. with Marc Van De Mieroop) (CDL Press, Baltimore, 2002) Economists, anthropologists and assyriologists have discussed the origins of debt and the setting of interest rates from such different perspectives that there has been remarkably little overlap or mutual discussion. Indeed, when economic theorists have ventured to speculate on the origins of debt, they usually have based their reasoning on a priori market-oriented principles rather than looking at the historical record. One of the aims of this colloquium is therefore to establish a more historically grounded basis for tracing the course of commercial and agrarian debt in Bronze Age Mesopotamia, and the logic that underlay the Clean Slates that annulled ...

I Meet the Leading Authority on the Babylonian and Near East Tradition of Debt Cancellation

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Copy of a regular newsletter by Boudewijn Wegerif, Sweden WHAT MATTERS-77 Dear list members, Yesterday I was with an American economist who says of himself that he is a Marxist, whose godfather was Leon Trotsky, whose father was thrown in prison in the US in 1941 for advocating the overthrow of the government, who has worked for the Chase Manhattan Bank as their balance of payments expert, and who is now an authority on the Babylonian and Near East tradition of debt cancellation. I was with someone who in another guise, as musician, once auditioned to conduct the orchestra of the Stockholm Opera Company: - someone whom I had been told I would find extremely rude, with a verbal bite as sharp as ...