Stockholm Syndrome in the Baltics

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Latvia’s Neoliberal War Against Labor and Industry Published in The Contradictions of Austerity: The socio-economic costs of the neoliberal Baltic model Edited by Jeffrey Sommers & Charles Woolfson This article examines how neoliberal policymakers trained in the United States captured Latvia’s economic policy to impose pro-rentier, pro-bank, anti-labor tax and financial policies. Latvia’s national interests were subordinated to those of the banks, which were mainly Swedish. These banks made real estate loans far in excess of Latvians’ ability to pay, and also lent recklessly to Latvia’s private capital market prior to the autumn 2008 economic crash.  Latvians suffered a ‘Stockholm Syndrome,’ imposing austerity and internal devaluation policies that pauperized the economy while identifying their national interest with Swedish economic views and banking ...

China – Avoid the West’s Debt Overhead: A Land Tax is needed to hold down Housing Prices

How can China avoid the “Western financial disease” – a real estate bubble followed by defaults and foreclosures? The U.S. and European economies originally sought to avoid this fate by taxing the location’s site value. A rent tax was the focus of Progressive Era reforms. Enacting a rent tax remains China’s main challenge to accompany its privatization of real estate and natural resources. If land rent were fully taxed, it would not be paid to banks as interest for rising mortgage loans – and governments would not have to tax income and sales. Holding down housing debt will reduce labor’s cost of living, but not its living standards. While Western ...

Thatcher – ‘Sorry You’ve Lost Your Job’

More at The Real News Edited transcript PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore. Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher has passed away, and of course around the world people are debating her legacy. Henry Kissinger said she was a great defender of Western interests. She's known as the woman who stood her ground, the Iron Lady. I guess the question is: stood her ground for whom? Now joining us to give his take on Margaret Thatcher is Michael Hudson. He's a former Wall Street financial analyst. He's a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His latest books are The Bubble and Beyond and Finance Capitalism and ...

Mrs. Thatcher’s Mean Legacy

The Queen Mother of Global Austerity and Financialization Michael Hudson and Jeffrey Sommers We typically honor the convention to refrain from speaking ill of the recently departed. But Margaret Thatcher probably would not object to an epitaph focusing on how her political legacy was to achieve her professed aim of “irreversibly” dismantling Britain’s public sector. Attacking central planning by government, she shifted it into much more centralized financial hands – the City of London, unopposed by any economic back bench of financial regulation and “free” of meaningful anti-monopoly price regulation. Mrs. Thatcher transformed the character of British politics by heading a democratically elected Parliamentary government that permitted financial planners to carve up the ...

How Neoliberal Tax and Financial Policy Impoverishes Russia – Needlessly

* A shorter version of this paper has been published in the Russian Academy of Sciences journal, Mir Peremen (The World of Transformations), 2012 (3):49-64 (in Russian). An earlier version was posted by the Global Policy Forum meeting in Yaroslavl, Russia, September 7-8, 2011, on its website. Russian poverty is unnecessary. Like all poverty in today’s high-productivity age, it is the result of bad policy. There is no technological need for it, nor is Russia lacking in a full spectrum of natural resources and economic potential. So future historians no doubt will puzzle over how the nation was convinced to de-industrialize its economy and impoverish much of its population in favor of exporting fuels and minerals, and to impose ...

Obama Wins for whom?

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As published in Counterpunch The Democrats could not have won so handily without the Citizens United ruling. That is what enabled the Koch Brothers to spend their billions to support right-wing candidates that barked and growled like sheep dogs to give voters little civilized option but to vote for “the lesser evil.” This will be President Obama’s epitaph for future historians. Orchestrating the election like a World Wrestling Federation melodrama, the Tea Party’s sponsors threw billions of dollars into the campaign to cast the President’s party in the role of “good cop” against stereotyped opponents attacking women’s rights, Hispanics and nearly every other hyphenated-American interest group. In Connecticut, Senate candidate Linda ...

Inner Econ Geek

This interview with Profs. Hudson, Bill Black and Randy Wray at UMKC describes how the U.S. Financial sector has become criminalized, and describes how the economy will continue to shrink sharply after the November presidential election. Listen via here KCUR writes: Want to satisfy your inner econ geek? You've come to the right place. On Thursday's Central Standard, we’re having a roundtable talk on all things Post-Keynesian with distinguished UMKC research professors William Black, Randall Wray and Michael Hudson. Find out why the dynamics of private sector are essential to understanding the economy. Plus, we’ll discuss government transparency and accountability. If you're just little rusty on your economic theory and policy, join us at the table for the perfect refresher course.

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 ...

Modern Money and Public Purpose

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Here is the recording of the presentation I gave at the Modern Money and Public Purpose seminar recently. My delivery begins at the 43 minute mark. I highly recommend Randy's presentation beforehand. Moderator: William V. Harris, William R. Shepherd Professor of History and Director, Center for the Ancient Mediterranean, Columbia University Speaker 1: L. Randall Wray, Research Director of the Center for Full Employment and Price Stability and Professor of Economics, University of Missouri-Kansas City Speaker 2: Michael Hudson, President, Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trends and Distinguished Research Professor, University of Missouri-Kansas City Tuesday, September 11, 2012 About the Seminar Series: Modern Money and Public Purpose is an eight-part, interdisciplinary seminar series held at Columbia Law School over the 2012-2013 academic ...