Resisting Financial Conquest

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As published on Counterpunch Back in January upon coming into office, Syriza probably could not have won a referendum on whether to pay or not to pay. It didn’t have a full parliamentary majority, and had to rely on a nationalist party for Tsipras to become prime minister. (That party balked at cutting back Greek military spending, which was 3% of GDP, and which the troika had helpfully urged to be cut back in order to balance the government’s budget.) Seeing how unyielding the opposition was, Syriza’s stance was: “We would like to pay. But there’s no money.” This kept throwing the ball back into the troika’s court. The Institutions were so unyielding that Syriza’s approval rating in the polls rose by 13% ...

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 ...

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 ...