Greek Debtline

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SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to the Michael Hudson Report on The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. The Euro is slipping against the dollar, and the European financial markets are in flux, expecting Greece to fail on its 1.6 billion Euro repayment due to the International Monetary Fund on the 5th of June. Joining me now to discuss Greece and the financial it's posing to the European markets is Michael Hudson. Michael is joining us from New York, and as you know he's a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His two newest books are ...

Greece: Austerity for the Bankers

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Michael Hudson says Greece’s Finance Minister Varoufakis is proposing austerity on the banking class rather than on the working class to balance the budget. SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. The four-month extension secured by the Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, on Friday came with the condition that Greece provide a list of measures to quell the concerns of its international lenders, especially the German banks represented by the finance ministers in Brussels, who feared that Athens might bail on the promises to cut spending and implement austerity measures. So, on Sunday, Athens provided that list. ...

Rentier Machinations

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RT news: On Thursday, the Swiss National Bank abolished its policy of keeping the franc artificially weak at a peg of 1.20 to the Euro and fallout from the move ricocheted throughout the markets and around the world. The wild swing in the Swiss currency hit global banks with tens of millions of dollars in losses and triggered the collapse of several brokerage firms. The trading losses occurred within minutes of the SNB’s announcement as the Swiss Franc jumped 30% against the euro almost instantaneously. Erin weighs in. Then, Erin is joined by Michael Hudson, distinguished professor of economics at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. Michael tells us about the connection between volatility in places like Switzerland and Greece and ...

Financial Conquest or Clean State?

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This is an edited and expanded transcript from a live phone interview by Dimitris Yannopoulos for Athens News, September 2012. Dimitris Yannopoulos: As an academic with a strong grounding in economic history as well as banking and a Clean Slate, professor Michael Hudson has built his own school of thought - distanced from both Keynesians and neoliberals – with regard to the stark options facing a contemporary Western world drowning in unsustainable debts of governments and households at the mercy of global banks and financiers. Options for the indebted amount to a choice between feudal-like servitude and freedom, because “debts that can’t be paid, won’t be.” That has become Prof. Hudson’s well-known tag line. He explains his logic in this ...

Paul Krugman’s Economic Blinders

In Mr. Krugman’s reading, private debts need not be written down or the tax system made more efficient. It is to be better subsidized – mainly with easier bank credit and more government spending. So I am afraid that his book might as well have been subtitled “How the Economy can Borrow its Way Out of Debt.” That is what budget deficits do: they add to the debt overhead.

Greek Strategy

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Michael Hudson on the Greek experiment. More at The Real News The Greek crisis is being used to find out how far finance can drive down wages and privatize the public sector. Michael Hudson interviewed by Paul Jay Note: This is my editing of an interview Professor Michael Hudson gave to The Real News Network. I have edited Professor Hudson's interview for clarity and have not changed the meaning of any of his statements. It is posted on this site with Professor Hudson's permission. -- Paul Craig Roberts Transcript PAUL JAY, Senior Editor, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Washington. In Greece, the financial elites of Europe have received agreement from the Greek government to another round of what some people are calling savage austerity measures, for ...

Iceland's Fair Value Vultures

The New Bank Disaster Olafur Arnarson, Michael Hudson and Gunnar Tomasson* The problem of bank loans gone bad, especially those with government-guarantees such as U.S. student loans and Fannie Mae mortgages, has thrown into question just what should be a “fair value” for these debt obligations. Should “fair value” reflect what debtors can pay – that is, pay without going bankrupt? Or is it fair for banks and even vulture funds to get whatever they can squeeze out of debtors? The answer will depend largely on the degree to which governments back the claims of creditors. The legal definition of how much can be squeezed out is becoming a political issue pulling national governments, the IMF, ECB and other financial agencies ...

Trade Theory Financialized

To secure its privileges and tax favoritism, the financial sector opposes government power to tax or regulate. Fighting under the banner of “free markets,” it is now fighting to centralize economic planning power in Wall Street, the City of London and other financial centers. What is remarkable is that under ostensibly democratic politics, an “independent” central bank has been carved out – independent from elected officials, not from the commercial banks whose interests it represents. Many voters believe that a financial bubble enriches the economy rather than turning the surplus into a flow of interest and banking fees.