Think Tank Memories

Think Tanks Blow Public Opinion: Prof Michael Hudson on the most influential US think tanks by Renegadeeconomists on Mixcloud Subscribe to the weekly Renegade Economists podcast Transcript Renegade Economists October 1, 2014: DOUBLETHINK TANKS, TAR SANDS, WATER & IMPERIALISM. Karl Fitzgerald: This week on the Renegade Economists we’re joined by Professor Michael Hudson, the author of The Bubble & Beyond, Super Imperialism, and a host of other books. You can read his work at www.Michael-Hudson.com. Certainly our favourite guest here on the Renegade Economists and Michael, today we’re going to have a look at the role of think tanks in sculpting the American mind and the public policy that flows from that. What’s your take on the role of think tanks in American economic history? Michael Hudson: Well, today they’ve become basically public ...

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 more regressive taxes on labor and industry than existed anywhere ...

The Bubble and Beyond

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Purchase the new paperback edition here. Kindle. Michael Hudson's new book The Bubble & Beyond is vital for those vying to make sense of the economic quicksand global policy makers find themselves in. He ties a thread between the big issues of our times - underwater housing, money market manipulations and lifetime debt - concerns that appear too difficult for the world's mainstream economists. Hudson does this by looking at the systemic causes of inequality, complexity and economic despair. The book traces how industrial capitalism has turned into finance capitalism. The finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector has emerged to create “balance sheet wealth” not by new tangible investment and employment, but financially in the form of debt leveraging and rent-extraction. Decision making is clouded by an economic system that favors ...

Lativa No Austerity Success (extended)

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by JEFFREY SOMMERS and MICHAEL HUDSON A much shorter version of this article appeared in the Financial Times on Friday, June 22.  Austerity’s advocates are declaring victory with Latvia’s battle against the European economic crisis and advocating it as the model for Greece & Spain to emulate.  Curiously, Latvians have been declaring this “win” by exiting their country. The “austerians” are celebrating Latvia as the plucky country that through hard work and discipline showed the way out of the financial crisis plaguing so many countries.  For austerians, Latvia represents a veritable Protestant morality play demonstrating that austerity works.  Indeed, they hope the Latvian example will retread Margaret Thatcher’s “there is no alternative” tire for a European-wide scale austerity tour. Few writing on the subject unfortunately have the time on the ground to evaluate the ...

Latvia No Austerity Success

Jeffrey Sommers & Michael Hudson Cross posted from the Financial Times by permission of the authors Michael Hudson and Jeffery Sommers: a distinguished professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee respectively, who have both advised members of Latvia’s government on alternatives to austerity. They are also contributors to the forthcoming book by Routledge Press: The Contradictions of Austerity: The Socio-Economic Costs of the Neoliberal Baltic Model. Austerity’s advocates depict Latvia as a plucky country that can show Europe the way out of its financial dilemma – by “internal devaluation”, or slashing wages. Yet few of the enthusiastic commentators have spent enough time in the country to understand what happened. Its government has chosen austerity, its people have not. Finding no acceptable alternative, much of the ...

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 had to be funded out of pre savings, so American ...

Inside the World Bank's Population Policy

Taken from Super Imperialism, 2nd Edition, p213 (1972) For instance, the World Bank is essentially an American instrument, and the United States is a food-surplus nation threatened with loss of foreign markets for farm products as modernization of European agriculture proceeds. For the World Bank to finance such institutional reforms in developing nations as would lead them toward self-sufficiency on food account would run counter to American interests. U.S. farm surpluses would become unmanageable as the overseas market for U.S. farm products dwindled. Hence, the World Bank prefers perpetuation of world poverty to the development of adequate overseas capacity to feed the peoples of developing countries. There is a yet more subtle point to be considered. Mineral resources represent diminishing assets. It is in the interest of developing peoples to conserve such ...

Trade Theory Financialized

To secure its privileges and tax favoritism, the financial sector opposes government power to tax or regulate. Fighting under the banner of “free markets,” it is now fighting to centralize economic planning power in Wall Street, the City of London and other financial centers. What is remarkable is that under ostensibly democratic politics, an “independent” central bank has been carved out – independent from elected officials, not from the commercial banks whose interests it represents. Many voters believe that a financial bubble enriches the economy rather than turning the surplus into a flow of interest and banking fees.