IMF Meeting Review – Austerity to Cost

A serious depression is pending as a result of austerity, says Professor Michael Hudson, October 17, 2014 SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore. On Wednesday this week, the S&P 500 took a dive and then partially recovered itself in what stock market watchers call a selloff scare.   To talk about what is behind the volatility is our regular guest, Michael Hudson. Michael Hudson is distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His latest books are The Bubble and Beyond and Finance Capitalism and Its Discontents. Thank you so much for joining us, Michael. MICHAEL HUDSON, PROF. ECONOMICS, UMKC: It's good to be back.    PERIES: Michael, if you heard stock market reporting yesterday or saw The New York Times' business ...

Losing Credibility: The IMF’s New Cold War Loan to Ukraine

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By Michael Hudson In April 2014, fresh from riots in Maidan Square and the February 22 coup, and less than a month before the May 2 massacre in Odessa, the IMF approved a $17 billion loan program to Ukraine’s junta. Normal IMF practice is to lend only up to twice a country’s quote in one year. This was eight times as high. Four months later, on August 29, just as Kiev began losing its attempt at ethnic cleansing against the eastern Donbas region, the IMF signed off on the first loan ever to a side engaged in a civil war, not to mention rife with insider capital flight and a collapsing balance of payments. Based on fictitiously trouble-free projections of the ability to pay, the loan supported Ukraine’s hernia currency long enough ...

Vulture Funds trump Argentinian sovereignty

More at The Real News PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay. The U.S. Supreme Court's refusal to review a case in which vulture funds sued to make the Argentinian government pay them 100 percent of the value of bonds, which they purchased for a fraction of the face value, let stand a lower court ruling requiring the bonds be paid in full. Reuters reports that Aurelius Capital Management, one of the lead holdout creditors seeking to settle with Argentina over sovereign debt payments from its 2002 default, said on Monday the government faces a new crisis on July 30 unless it engages in serious negotiations. Argentine officials and the holdout investors met separately, with a court-appointed mediator on Friday emerging from his ...

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 the IMF and European Central Bank (ECB) as knee-breakers in ...

Extra Economist

Please click on the following link to hear my latest radio interview. In Extraenvironmentalist #67 we discuss the implications of the bursting global credit bubble with economist and historian Michael Hudson. Our conversation covers many of the themes in Hudson’s new book, The Bubble and Beyond which covers the process of quantitative easing, neofeudalism and more. Partial Transcript Justin Ritchie: “There’s a lot of people on the left and the right who are becoming increasingly critical of Quantitative Easing and the question we have is how does it work? What does it mean that the US Federal Reserve is buying these $85 billion dollars each month of assets even though they are talking about tapering now?” Michael Hudson: “Quantitative Easing only has to do with the Federal Reserve and the banking system. There ...

Government Debt and Deficits Are Not the Problem. Private Debt Is.

There are two quite different perspectives in the set of speeches at this conference. Many on our morning panels – Steve Keen, William Greider, and earlier Yves Smith and Robert Kuttner – have warned about the economy being strapped by debt. The debt we are talking about is private-sector debt. But most officials this afternoon focus on government debt and budget deficits as the problem – especially social spending such as Social Security, not bailouts to the banks and Federal Reserve credit to re-inflate prices for real estate, stocks and bonds. To us this morning, government deficit spending into the economy is the solution. The problem is private debt. And in contrast to Federal Reserve and Treasury bailout policy, we view the problem not as real estate prices too low to ...