Financial Predators v. Labor, Industry and Democracy

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Europe’s sovereign debt crisis in historical perspective Sankt Georgen University, Frankfurt, June 22, 2012 Michael Hudson's new book The Bubble and Beyond can be purchased here. The Eurozone lacks a central bank to do what most central banks are supposed to do: finance government deficits. To make matters worse, the Lisbon Agreement limits these deficits to 3% – too small to pull economies out of depression by offsetting private-sector debt deflation. Even if central banks could monetize higher levels of deficit spending, there are good reasons not to subsidize unfair tax systems and tax cuts on the real estate and financial “free lunch” windfalls that classical economists urged to be the tax base. Under classical tax policy, Europe would not have had a ...

The Weaponization of Economic Theory

Europe’s three needs: a debt write-down, a real central bank, and a more efficient tax system Brussels Talk, Madariaga College, Governing Globalisation in a World Economy in Transition, June 27, 2012 What can Europe learn from the United States? First, the United States – like Canada, England and China – have central banks that do what central banks outside of Europe were created to do: finance the budget deficit directly. I have found that it is hard to explain to continental Europe just how different the English-speaking countries are in this respect. There is a prejudice here that central bank financing of a domestic spending deficit by government is inflationary. This is nonsense, as demonstrated by recent U.S. experience: the largest ...

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.

Firing Alan Greenspan

During the interview for the documentary Real Estate 4 Ransom, Prof Michael Hudson discussed Greenspan's reputation in his formative days on Wall St, revealing a controversial 1966 incident. Transcript Why are real wages falling? MH: They’ve (wages) been going down because essentially the economy shifted radically throughout the world, starting in 1979, when Margaret Thatcher was elected Prime Minister of England and Ronald Reagan was elected President of here (The USA) … claiming to defend capital. The Reagan Bush Administration in its 12 years, quadrupled American debt by slashing taxes on the upper brackets while sharply increasing taxes on labour. They increased it largely by having Alan Greenspan create the Greenspan Commission to look at social security and pushing the myth that social security ...

Debts that can’t be paid, won’t be

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An excerpt from a paper published for the conference Paradigm Lost: Rethinking Economics and Politics. I am speaking to this paper in Berlin this week. The full paper can be downloaded from their website (PDF). A common denominator runs throughout recorded history: a rising proportion of debts cannot be paid. Adam Smith remarked that no government ever had repaid its debt, and today the same can be said of the overall volume of private-sector debt. One way or another, there will be defaults – unless debts are paid in an illusory fashion, simply by adding the interest charges onto the debt balance until the sums finally grow to so ...

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 ...