Recent Posts by Michael

Negative Interest, Debt Jubilee?

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An interview with Max & Stacy on their Double Down Radio show. Click through to listen on Sputnik News. As interest rates head into negative territory and Greek debt yields less than US Treasury debt, DOUBLE DOWN asks economist and historian, Dr. Michael Hudson if any economic theory has ever suggested negative interest rates. Not since back to the Bronze Age does he recall anything like this being suggested. That’s because, for thousands of years, economic beings have chosen to hold debt jubilees. Negative rates achieve that a bit slower but they do the same thing eventually by bringing the volume of savings on the asset side of the balance sheet down to the volume of debt that can be repaid. Hudson believes rates will quickly go as negative as 25% ...

The Coming Savings Meltdown

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Debts that can’t be paid, won’t be. That point inevitably arrives on the liabilities side of the economy’s balance sheet. But what of the asset side? One person’s debt is a creditor’s claim for payment. This is defined as “savings,” even though banks simply create credit endogenously on their own computers without needing any prior savings. When debts can’t be paid and debtors default, what happens to these creditors? As President Obama showed, banks and bondholders can be bailed out by new Federal Reserve money creation. That is what the $4.6 trillion in Quantitative Easing since 2008 was all about. The Fed has spent the last few years supporting stock market prices (and holding down gold prices) by manipulating the forward option markets. But this artificial life support to keep the debt overhead ...

U.S. Economic Warfare and Likely Foreign Defenses

Keynote Paper delivered at the 14th Forum of the World Association for Political Economy, July 21, 2019. Today’s world is at war on many fronts. The rules of international law and order put in place toward the end of World War II are being broken by U.S. foreign policy escalating its confrontation with countries that refrain from giving its companies control of their economic surpluses. Countries that do not give the United States control of their oil and financial sectors or privatize their key sectors are being isolated by a United States imposing trade sanctions and unilateral tariffs giving special advantages to U.S. producers in violation of free trade agreements with European, Asian and other countries. This global fracture has an increasingly military cast. U.S. officials justify tariffs and import quotas ...

De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire

Guns and Butter. July 3, 2019 Imperialism is getting something for nothing. It is a strategy to obtain other countries’ surplus without playing a productive role, but by creating an extractive rentier system. An imperialist power obliges other countries to pay tribute. Of course, America doesn’t come right out and tell other countries, “You have to pay us tribute,” like Roman emperors told the provinces they governed. U.S. diplomats simply insist that other countries invest their balance-of-payments inflows and official central-bank savings in US dollars, especially U.S. Treasury IOUs. This Treasury-bill standard turns the global monetary and financial system into a tributary system. That is what pays the costs of U.S. military spending, including its 800 military bases throughout the world. I’m Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns and Butter, Dr. Michael Hudson. ...

Food Blackmail, the Washington Consensus and Freedom

  Michael Hudson discusses his seminal work of 1972, Super Imperialism: The Economic Strategy of American Empire, a critique of how the US exploits foreign economies through IMF and World bank debt; difference between the IMF and World Bank; World Bank dysfunctional from the outset; loans made in foreign currency only; policy to provide loans for countries to devote their land to export plantation crops; US food and monetary imperialism; U.S. agricultural protectionism built into the postwar global system; promotion of dependency on the US as food supplier; food blackmail; perpetration of world poverty preferred; no encouragement of land reform; privatization of the public domain; America aided, not foreign economies; exploitation of mineral deposits; bribery; foreign nations politically controlled at the top; veto power for US only. Aired: June 19, 2019 Visit Guns ...

Cold War 2.0

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Trump’s Trade Threats are really Cold War 2.0 President Trump has threatened China’s President Xi that if they don’t meet and talk at the upcoming G20 meetings in Japan, June 29-30, the United States will not soften its tariff war and economic sanctions against Chinese exports and technology. Some meeting between Chinese and U.S. leaders will indeed take place, but it cannot be anything like a real negotiation. Such meetings normally are planned in advance, by specialized officials working together to prepare an agreement to be announced by their heads of state. No such preparation has taken place, or can take place. Mr. Trump doesn’t delegate authority. He opens negotiations with a threat. That costs nothing, and you never know (or at least, he never knows) whether he can get a freebee. His ...

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