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 ...

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 ...

Banking Deep Dive

An interview with one of the best in the business, Bonnie Faulkner (Guns and Butter). 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the stock market crash of 2008; the current financial malaise is the result of the bank bailouts, not the crash; an over-indebted economy cannot be saved unless the banks fail; debt deflation; the magic of compound interest; how pension funds, state and local governments adversely affected by the bank bailouts; growth of the financial extraction FIRE sector (finance, insurance and real estate); quantitative easing; asset price inflation; wealth concentrated at the top in Roman antiquity led to the Dark Age; Eurozone imposition of austerity Greek style; tariffs, economic sanctions and isolationism. This is Guns and Butter. You can’t bail out the banks, leave the debts in place, and rescue the economy. ...

European Care for the Elderly 2016

Michael Hudson, Speech to SANICADEMIA, May 10, 2016 in Villach, Austria for the 5th International Congress on Geriatrics and Gerontology = 59th Austrian Convention for Hospital Management, “We’re Living Longer: The healthcare challenges for today and tomorrow.” The most obvious approach to look at how European care for the elderly will evolve is to project technological trends and the costs of people living longer as diagnostic equipment, drug treatments and other medical science continues to improve. This kind of projection shows a rising cost to society of pensions and health care, because a rising proportion of the aging population is retiring. How will economies pay for it? I want to point to some special problems that are looming on the political front. I assume that the reason you have invited me from ...

The IMF Changes its Rules to Isolate China and Russia

Michael Hudson A nightmare scenario of U.S. geopolitical strategists is coming true: foreign independence from U.S.-centered financial and diplomatic control. China and Russia are investing in neighboring economies on terms that cement Eurasian integration on the basis of financing in their own currencies and favoring their own exports. They also have created the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as an alternative military alliance to NATO. And the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) threatens to replace the IMF and World Bank tandem in which the United States holds unique veto power. More than just a disparity of voting rights in the IMF and World Bank is at stake. At issue is a philosophy of development. U.S. and other foreign investment in infrastructure (or buyouts and takeovers on credit) adds interest rates and other financial ...

Reuters’ Public Relations Missif

As published on Counterpunch: This autumn may see anti-austerity coalitions gain power in Portugal, Spain and Italy, while Marine le Pen’s National Front in France presses for outright withdrawal from the eurozone. These countries face a common problem: how to resist the economic devastation that the European Central Bank (ECB), European Council and IMF “troika” has inflicted on Greece and is now intending to do the same to southern Europe. To resist the depression and debt deflation that the troika seeks to deepen, one needs to bear in mind the dynamics that make the IMF un-reformable. Its destructive role in Greece provides an object lesson for how southern Europe must shun its horde of ideologues, as Third World countries learned to avoid it by May 2013, the year that Turkey capped the ...

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 so that it could pay bondholders, because U.S. banks had ...

TPP Sovereignty Challenge

SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. The Senate just approved the fast-track legislation in Washington, and with me to discuss this is Michael Hudson. He's joining me from New York City. Michael is a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. His two newest books are The Bubble and Beyond, and Finance Capitalism and Its Discontents. His upcoming book is titled Killing the Host: How Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroyed the Global Economy. Thank you so much for joining us. MICHAEL HUDSON, PROF. OF ECONOMICS, UNIV. OF MISSOURI-KC: Good to be here. PERIES: Michael, what do you make of this fast-track legislation? HUDSON: It's appalling. It's so bad that when I try to describe it to professors ...

Russian Pivot

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nflZSjiofr8 SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. President Vladimir Putin is on his way to India to discuss a gas and arms deal. Last week, he was in Turkey talking about diverting what was to be a South Stream pipeline away from Southern Europe to Turkey. At the APEC summit, he was squaring off deals with China for oil and gas. It is clear that Russia is pivoting to Eurasia. Here to discuss all of this is our regular guest Michael Hudson. Michael Hudson is distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. ...