Chile's Failed Economic Laboratory

an Interview with Michael Hudson for Counterpunch By STANDARD SCHAEFER In acknowledging the recent thirtieth anniversary of the US-sponsored coup that brought to General Augosto Pinochet to power in Chile, a number of articles and opinion pieces have appeared. The Nation recently cast the incident in somewhat sentimental terms. Such efforts to turn Salvador Allende's death into a martyrdom for democratic socialism obscure the most important legacy of the coup. Not only did it give rise to one of the twentieth century's most violently repressive regimes, it inspired subsequent financial dictatorships to use privatization schemes to consolidate their power. As economic historian Michael Hudson pointed out to me, a recent interview in the Moscow Times (October 1, 2003: "Corruption, Chechnya: The Price We ...

Tech Bubble: Who Benefited?

An Interview with Michael Hudson for Counterpunch By STANDARD SCHAEFER During the boom of the 1990s, neoliberal economists and the financial press promoted the the high tech revolution for its ability to reduce production costs. As long as government did not interfere with markets, technology would lead to an improvement in the quality of life. The ultimate beneficiary was supposed to be the consumer. This did not happen. The main beneficiary was Big Finance. Finance capital, long assumed to play a facilitating role, not a dominating one, actually led to scaled back and distorted technological innovations. Deregulation in finance and the privatization of public services lead to market manipulation, and record consumer debt. Legal protection of intellectual property rights also allowed corporations to ...

The Coming Financial Reality

An Interview with Economist Michael Hudson for Counterpunch By STANDARD SCHAEFER The war in Iraq is allegedly over, interest rates are going lower and there are rumors of recovery although the economy is still in the doldrums. A Bush is president, but an election is around the corner. It sounds a bit like the recession of 1990-1991. In fact, the recovery from that period, anemic as it was marked by very little growth in employment--was actually stronger than this one. The US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.1% compared to the 2.6% annual rate currently. Except for the 1992 recovery, the last seven economic recoveries were much stronger than this one, and each of them, corresponded with the usual ...