Washington Consensus Encloses Ukraine

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More at The Real News The Real News Network West looks to ramp up gas production, as Vice President Biden's son named leader in Ukrainian gas company Burisma - August 4, 2014 JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. And welcome to this edition of The Hudson Report. Now joining us is Michael Hudson. Michael is a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Thanks for joining us, Michael. MICHAEL HUDSON, PROF. ECONOMICS, UMKC: Good to be here, Jessica. DESVARIEUX: So, Michael, we've been covering Ukraine ...

Ukraine: Bureaucratic Bliss

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More at The Real News Transcript WORONCZUK: So, Michael, let's talk about the economic association agreement that Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine signed with the E.U. last week. Let's get a sense of what are the details of the agreement. And how does this differ from--let's say, in economic terms, from a full-fledged membership with the E.U.? HUDSON: Well, I'm going to begin by putting it in the big picture, and then I'll get to the details. The big picture is that this is a form of colonialism almost identical to what Europe did in Africa and Latin America and the Near East. What it did in the 19th century in Africa, where property was owned communally, was it would go to ...

EU Voters Turn Against Austerity

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More at The Real News Reflecting on this topic, I add: The US press and newscasts make it appear that Europeans have voted against poor immigrants and foreigners. What they voted against the super-rich, the oligarchy. The “foreigners” being opposed include the United States insisting on drawing NATO into its wars in Libya,Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan – and now, subsidizing Ukraine to confront Russia. The “nationalist” parties voted against the EU constitution written by the oligarchy to favor the banks against labor. It is a neoliberal constitution that prevents governments from running budget deficits of more than 3% of GDP – except of course to bail out banks ...

The New Cold War’s Ukraine Gambit

Michael Hudson The following article is from a new book, Flashpoint in Ukraine, edited by Stephen Lendman. It is currently available from Clarity Press as an e-book, and soon to be printed. Finance in today’s world has become war by non-military means. Its object is the same as that of military conquest: appropriation of land and basic infrastructure, and the rents that can be extracted as tribute. In today’s world this is taken mainly in the form of debt service and privatization. That is how neoliberalism works, subduing economies by indebting their governments and using unpayably high debts as a lever to pry away the public domain at distress prices. It is what today’s New Cold War is all about. Backed by ...

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 ...

Anti-Russian sentiment a resource play diversion

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Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. Hundreds of pro-Russian protesters have seized public buildings in Eastern Ukrainian cities. They're demanding referendums to secede from Ukraine in order to become a part of Russia. Ukrainian officials have blamed Putin for this continued unrest, but it should be noted that Ukraine is a major transit route for natural gas exports to Europe from Russia, and now Russia is warning Ukrainian officials that they need to pay back the $2.2 billion debt owed to the Russian natural gas company Gazprom. German and French officials are also working towards a quick implementation of a $14-18 billion International Monetary Fund loan package to the Ukraine. Now joining us to discuss ...

Russia, Crimea and the Consequences of NATO Policy

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Ukrainian Hangovers AS first published on Counterpunch by JEFFREY SOMMERS and MICHAEL HUDSON Russia’s incursion (invasion if you prefer) into Crimea, with prospects for movement into Eastern Ukraine, is the culmination of US/NATO policy since 1991. The unraveling of the USSR and its Soviet bloc (the Warsaw Pact) dismantled the largest empire in modern history. Even more striking, it was the most peaceful dissolution of a major empire in history. The fact that an empire stretching over a dozen time zones that included hundreds of ethnic groups with concrete historical and contemporary grievances with each other broke up without a bloodbath is nothing short of a miraculous – and a reflection of the destruction of spirit and even of economic understanding that marked the ...