News-in-Transition

15 July 2015

 - The crushing Greek debt could be canceled the way it was made – by sleight of hand. But saving the Greek people and their economy is evidently not in the game plan of the Eurocrats.

Greece’s creditors have finally brought the country to its knees, forcing President Alexis Tsipras to agree to austerity and privatization measures more severe than those overwhelmingly rejected by popular vote a week earlier. No write-down of Greece’s debt was included in the deal, although the IMF has warned that the current debt is unsustainable.

The Eurocrats could end the economic crisis by writing off odious unrepayable debt either through quantitative easing or by changing bank accounting rules. But ending the crisis is evidently not what they are up to. As Michael Hudson puts it, “finance has become the modern-day mode of warfare. Its objectives are the same: acquisition of land, raw materials and monopolies...”

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9 July 2015

 - John Perkins is no stranger to making confessions. His well-known book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, revealed how international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, while publicly professing to "save" suffering countries and economies, instead pull a bait-and-switch on their governments: promising startling growth, gleaming new infrastructure projects and a future of economic prosperity - all of which would occur if those countries borrow huge loans from those organizations. Far from achieving runaway economic growth and success, however, these countries instead fall victim to a crippling and unsustainable debt burden.

That's where the "economic hit men" come in: seemingly ordinary men, with ordinary backgrounds, who travel to these countries and impose the harsh austerity policies prescribed by the IMF and World Bank as "solutions" to the economic hardship they are now experiencing. Men like Perkins were trained to squeeze every last drop of wealth and resources from these sputtering economies, and continue to do so to this day. In this interview, which aired on Dialogos Radio, Perkins talks about how Greece and the eurozone have become the new victims of such "economic hit men."

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7 April 2015

 - Both Karl Marx and J.M. Keynes concluded that the trajectory of capitalist development placed a radically emancipatory possibility on the political-economic agenda. For the first time in modern history work time could be dramatically reduced with no reduction in our standard of living. In fact, if living standards are measured not merely by money wages but also by increased leisure, i.e. increased time available to develop and exercise our broad range of gratifying capabilities, the reduction in work time would elevate our standard of living to a degree hitherto unimaginable.

In what follows we’ll see that less work with higher wages is at this historical juncture not merely economically possible, but desirable as the only practical alternative to the secular stagnation grimly forecast with much flurry...

There is an alternative, and the only one that is capable of addressing a situation in which profits and economic growth can no longer be achieved by investing in real production and hiring workers. An overripe, industrially saturated economy can be made into one that can deliver on capitalism’s false promises. All workers can be employed, but for far fewer hours, and a just living wage can be provided to all.

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4 March 2015

 - The Guardian reports that global debt has grown by $57 trillion dollars – to $199 trillion dollars – since the 2008 financial crisis.

How much is that?  It’s a big number … but what does it actually mean?

The Guardian notes that global debt is now more than twice the size of the entire global economy: Total debt as a share of GDP stood at 286% in the second quarter of 2014 compared with 269% in the fourth quarter of 2007.

(That’s more than 2.8 times the size of the world economy).

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20 December 2014

 - When Russia deems that her currency has reached rock-bottom, she will buy back cheap rubles in the market with massive amounts of dollars. Russia may then flood the western market – with dollars, euros and other western-allied currencies – and gold. Let’s not forget, the ruble is backed by gold. By now we know what flooding a market with currencies may do to these currencies – and simultaneously buy back rubles from the West. A brilliant move to reestablish Russia’s currency in a new emerging monetary system – which Europe would be welcome to join, but willingly, no by Washington style arm-twisting.

Surely, Russia is not interested to cause the sudden destruction of the dollar-linked financial world. She is not interested in a sudden death of the many countries that are potential new trading partners in a new monetary system. Instead, the fall of the western economy of deceit may be planned as a gradual slide, so that countries have time to switch – switch their reserves to rubles, yuans and other BRICS and SCO currencies. This move is on its way. Only ten years ago, dollar denominated securities constituted 90% of reserves worldwide. Today the rate is 60% and declining.

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