Schlagwort-Archive: #debt

Michael HUDSON: How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote; The Real NEWS Network, June 27, 2016

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
Martin Zeis, 29.06.2016

We continue the debate on BREXIT with an interview on The Real News Network with Michael HUDSON.

———-

www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/27/how-western-military-interventions-shaped-the-brexit-vote

How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
MICHAEL HUDSON

Michael Hudson argues that military interventions in the Middle East created refugee streams to Europe that were in turn used by the anti-immigrant right to stir up xenophobia.

GREGORY WILPERT: Britain’s referendum in favor of leaving, or exiting, the European Union, the Brexit referendum, as the results are known, won with 52 percent of the vote on Thursday, June 23, stunning Europe’s political establishment. One of the issues that has raised concern for many is that what does the Brexit mean for Britain’s and Europe’s economy and politics. This was one of the main topics leading up to the referendum, but a lot of disinformation [reigned] in the discussion.

With us to discuss the economic and political context of the Brexit is Michael Hudson. He is a research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and author of Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Destroy the Global Economy. Also, he is an economics adviser to several governments, including Greece, Iceland, Latvia, and China. He joins us right now from New York City.

So let’s begin with the political context in which the Brexit vote took place. Aside from the right-wing arguments about immigrants, economic concerns, and about Britain’s ability to control its own economy, what would you say–what do you see as being the main kind of political background in which this vote took place?

HUDSON: Well, almost all the Europeans know where the immigrants are coming from. And the ones that they’re talking about are from the near East. And they’re aware of the fact that most of the immigrants are coming as a result of the NATO policies promoted by Hillary and by the Obama administration.
The problem began in Libya. Once Hillary pushed Obama to destroy Libya and wipe out the stable government there, she wiped out the arms–and Libya was a very heavily armed country. She turned over the arms to ISIS, to Al-Nusra, and Al-Qaeda. And Al-Qaeda used these arms under U.S. organization to attack Syria and Iraq. Now, the Syrian population, the Iraqi population, have no choice but to either emigrate or get killed.
So when people talk about the immigration to Europe, the Europeans, the French, the Dutch, the English, they’re all aware of the fact that this is the fact that Brussels is really NATO, and NATO is really run by Washington, and that it’s America’s new Cold War against Russia that’s been spurring all of this demographic dislocation that’s spreading into England, spreading into Europe, and is destabilizing things.
So what you’re seeing with the Brexit is the result of the Obama administration’s pro-war, new Cold War policy.

WILPERT: So are you saying that people voted for Brexit because they are really–that they were concerned about the influence of the U.S.? Or are you saying that it’s because of the backlash, because of the immigration that happened, and the fact that the right wing took advantage of that…
HUDSON: It’s a combination. The right wing was, indeed, pushing the immigrant issue, saying wait a minute, they’re threatening our jobs. But the left wing was just as vocal, and the left wing was saying, why are these immigrants coming here? They’re coming here because of Europe’s support of NATO, and NATOs war that’s bombing the near East, that is destabilizing the whole Near East, and causing a flight of refugees not only from Syria but also from Ukraine. In England, many of the so-called Polish plumbers that came years ago have now gone back to Poland, because that country’s recovered.
But now the worry is that a whole new wave of Ukrainians – and basically the U.S. policy is one of destabilization – so even the right-wing, while they have talked about immigrants, they have also denounced the fact that the European policy is run by the United States, and that you have both Marine Le Pen in France saying, we want to withdraw from NATO; we don’t want confrontation with Russia. You have the left wing in England saying, we don’t want concentration in Russia. And last week when I was in Germany you had the Social Democratic Party leaders saying that Russia should be invited back into the G8, that NATO was taking a warlike position and was hurting the European economy by breaking its ties with Russia and by forcing other sanctions against Russia.
So you have a convergence between the left and the right, and the question is, who is going to determine the terms on which Europe is broken up and put back together? Will it simply be the right wing that’s anti-immigrants? Or will it simply be the left saying we want to restructure the economy in a way that essentially avoids the austerity that is coming from Brussels, on the one hand, and from the British Conservative Party on the other.

(…)

HUDSON-Brexit-Military-Interventions160628.pdf

The Evil Empire Has The World In A Death Grip

In my archives there is a column or two that introduces the reader to John Perkins’ important book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. An EHM is an operative who sells the leadership of a developing country on an economic plan or massive development project. The Hit Man convinces a country’s government that borrowing large sums of money from US financial institutions in order to finance the project will raise the country’s living standards. The borrower is assured that the project will increase Gross Domestic Product and tax revenues and that these increases will allow the loan to be repaid. (…)

Now the book has been reissued with the addition of 14 new chapters and a 30-page listing of Hit Man activity during the years 2004-2015. http://www.amazon.com/New-Confessions-Economic-Hit-Man/dp/1626566747/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1456080628&sr=1-1&keywords=John+Perkins

Perkins shows that despite his revelations, the situation is worse than ever and has spread into the West itself. The populations of Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and the United States itself are now being looted by Hit Man activity. (…)

Quelle: The Evil Empire Has The World In A Death Grip

http://en.reseauinternational.net/the-evil-empire-has-the-world-in-a-death-grip/

The IMF Changes its Rules to Isolate China and Russia

The IMF Changes its Rules to Isolate China and Russia

The nightmare scenario of U.S. geopolitical strategists seems to be coming true: foreign economic independence from U.S. control. Instead of privatizing and neoliberalizing the world under U.S.-cen…

Quelle: The IMF Changes its Rules to Isolate China and Russia

Michael HUDSON: The IMF Joins the New Cold War; COUNTERPUNCH, Dec 9, 2015

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
Martin Zeis, 10.12.2015

On Tuesday „the IMF joined the New Cold War. It has been lending money to Ukraine despite the Fund’s rules blocking it from lending to countries with no visible chance of paying (the “No More Argentinas” rule from 2001).“
Hudson explains the message of this IMF/US-Empire-blow: “We only enforce debts owed in US dollars to US allies.” and his geopolitical scope: „…what was simmering as a Cold War against Russia has now turned into a full-blown division of the world into the Dollar Bloc (with its satellite Euro and other pro-U.S. currencies) and the BRICS or other countries not in the U.S. financial and military orbit.“ (further see attachment)

DECEMBER 9, 2015
The IMF Joins the New Cold War
by MICHAEL HUDSON
… But on Tuesday, the IMF joined the New Cold War. It has been lending money to Ukraine despite the Fund’s rules blocking it from lending to countries with no visible chance of paying (the “No More Argentinas” rule from 2001). With IMF head Christine Lagarde made the last IMF loan to Ukraine in the spring, she expressed the hope that there would be peace. But President Porochenko immediately announced that he would use the proceeds to step up his nation’s civil war with the Russian-speaking population in the East – the Donbass.
That is the region where most IMF exports have been made – mainly to Russia. This market is now lost for the foreseeable future. It may be a long break, because the country is run by the U.S.-backed junta put in place after the right-wing coup of winter 2014. Ukraine has refused to pay not only private-sector bondholders, but the Russian Government as well.
This should have blocked Ukraine from receiving further IMF aid. Refusal to pay for Ukrainian military belligerence in its New Cold War against  Russia would have been a major step forcing peace, and also forcing a clean-up of the country’s endemic corruption.
Instead, the IMF is backing Ukrainian policy, its kleptocracy and its Right Sector leading the attacks that recently cut off Crimea’s electricity. The only condition on which the IMF insists is continued austerity. Ukraine’s currency, the hryvnia, has fallen by a third this years, pensions have been slashed (largely as a result of being inflated away), while corruption continues unabated.
Despite this the IMF announced its intention to extend new loans to finance Ukraine’s dependency and payoffs to the oligarchs who are in control of its parliament and justice departments to block any real cleanup of corruption.
For over half a year there was a semi-public discussion with U.S. Treasury advisors and Cold Warriors about how to stiff Russia on the $3 billion owed by Ukraine to Russia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund. There was some talk of declaring this an “odious debt,” but it was decided that this ploy might backfire against U.S. supported dictatorships.
In the end, the IMF simply lent Ukraine the money.
By doing so, it announced its new policy: the IMF joined the New Cold War. It has been lending money to Ukraine despite the Fund’s rules blocking it from lending to countries with no visible chance of paying (the “No More Argentinas” rule from 2001). This means that what was simmering as a Cold War against Russia has now turned into a full-blown division of the world into the Dollar Bloc (with its satellite Euro and other pro-U.S. currencies) and the BRICS or other countries not in the U.S. financial and military orbit.
What should Russia do? For that matter, what should China and other BRICS countries do? The IMF and U.S. neocons have sent the world a message: you don’t have to honor debts to countries outside of the dollar area and its satellites.
Why then should these non-dollarized countries remain in the IMF – or the World Bank, for that matter? The IMF move effectively splits the global system in half, between the BRICS and the US-European neoliberalized financial system.
Should Russia withdraw from the IMF? Should other countries?
The mirror-image response would be for the new Asian Development Bank to announce  that countries that joined the ruble-yuan area did not have to pay US dollar or euro-denominated debts. That is implicitly where the IMF’s break is leading.  —  emphasis, m.z.  –
More Articles by Michael HUDSON on CounterPunch  –  Jun – Dec 2015
October 5, 2015
September 29, 2015
September 28, 2015
August 31, 2015
July 8, 2015
July 6, 2015
July 1, 2015
June 29, 2015
June 26, 2015

 

HUDSON-IMF-joins-New-Cold-War151208.pdf

Bailout deal allows Greek oligarchs to maintain grip – The Guardian

Bailout deal allows Greek oligarchs to maintain grip – The Guardian.

Bailout deal allows Greek oligarchs to maintain grip – The Guardian

The Guardian summed up my annotated version of Greece’s Third MoU with this title. Click here for the Guardi . . .

http://yanisvaroufakis.eu/2015/08/18/bailout-deal-allows-gr . . .

$60 Trillion of World Debt in One Visualization – Visual Capitalist

http://www.visualcapitalist.com/60-trillion-of-world-debt-in-one-visualization/

<div style=“clear:both“><a href=“http://www.visualcapitalist.com/60-trillion-of-world-debt-in-one-visualization/“><img src=“http://2oqz471sa19h3vbwa53m33yj.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/world-debt-60-trillion-infographic.jpg“ border=“0″ /></a></div><div>Courtesy of: <a href=“http://www.visualcapitalist.com“>Visual Capitalist</a></div>

Stathis KOUVELAKIS: Greece: The Struggle Continues; Reason in Revolt – JACOBIN, July 2015

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS
Martin Zeis – martin.zeis

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/07/tsipras-varoufakis-kouvelakis-syriza-euro-debt

Reason in Revolt – JACOBIN, July 2015 *

Greece: The Struggle Continues

A definitive account of what has transpired over the last few weeks in Greece, and what’s next for Syriza and the European left.

by Sebastian Budgen & Stathis Kouvelakis

Key Points
The government was overtaken by the referendum’s momentum.
The ideology of left-Europeanism was crippling.
Remaining unprepared for Grexit was deliberate.
The government has two main camps.
The „No“ campaign was driven by class.
After the vote, Tsipras revived a discredited opposition.
The Left Platform plans to stay and fight to reclaim Syriza.
Syriza’s leadership want to purge the party.
The new agreement is the worst yet.
It’s unknown what resistance will follow.
Syriza’s left made some errors.
But working within the party wasn’t a mistake.

The latest agreement between the Syriza government and the creditors shocked many on the Left who have been following events in Greece. It seems to signal the end of a whole political cycle.
In this interview with Jacobin contributing editor Sebastian Budgen, Stathis Kouvelakis, a leading member of the Left Platform in the party covers the latest sequence, to what extent expectations have been confirmed or disproved, and the next steps for the radical wing of the party.
Kouvelakis uses this opportunity to reflect more broadly on the balance sheet of the Left Platform’s strategy, whether things could have been done differently, and what the prospects are for a more general left recomposition.

What were the causes of the July referendum? Many saw it as something out of the blue, a wildcard that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras pulled out. But there is some uncertainty about his motivations — some even speculate that he thought he would lose. (…)

Note
* Jacobin is a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture. The print magazine is released quarterly and reaches over 10,000 subscribers, in addition to a web audience of 600,000 a month.

KOUVELAKIS_Greece-Struggle-continues150720.pdf

Beppe GRILLO: Italy’s Plan B for an exit from the euro #PianoB; July 24, 2015

globalcrisis/globalchange NEWS Martin Zeis martin.zeis

http://www.beppegrillo.it/en/2015/07/italys_plan_b_for_an_exit_from.html

Italy’s Plan B for an exit from the euro #PianoB Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:27 PM July 24, 2015 Tspiras couldn’t have done a worse job of defending the Greek people. Only profound economic short-sightedness together with an opaque political strategy could transform the enormous electoral consensus that brought him into government in January into the victory for his adversories, the creditor countries, only six months later, in spite of winning the referendum in the mean time. An a priori rejection of a Euroexit has been his death sentence. Like the PD, he was convinced that it’s possible to break the link between the Euro and Austerity. Tsipras has handed over his country into the hands of the Germans, to be used like a vassal. Thinking that it’s possible to oppose the Euro only from within and presenting oneself without an explicit Plan B for an exit, he has in fact ended up by depriving Greece of any negotiating power in relation to the Euro. So it was clear from the beginning that Tsipras would have crashed even though Varoufakis did try to react a few times. Only Vendola, the PD and the media inspired by the Scalfari-style lies (among many) of the United States of Europe and of those who are nostalgic about the Ventotene Manifesto could have believed in a Euro without Austerity. And they are obliged to go on believing in this so as not to have to admit that there is an exit opportunity after seven years of economic disasters. The consequence of this poliical disaster is before everyone’s eyes:

  • Explicit Nazi-ism on the part of those that have reduced the periphery of Europe to a protectorate by using the debt, with alarming echoes of historical parallels.
  • Mutism or explicit support for Germany by the oher European countries perhaps because of opportunism (north) or because of subordination (periphery).
  • Financial markets that are celebrating the end of democracy with new highs.
  • Expropriation of the national wealth by mortgaging 50 billlion euro of Greek property that ended up in the fund created by Adolf Schauble so as to get to rake in the cash from the war debts.

It was all thought out, foreseen, and planned down to the last detail. … The drama of the Euro will keep going as long as the Americans want it to, that is until the definitive approval of the TTIP by which the USA will place Europe in subjugation in a way that is not dissimilar to how Germany is subjugating the periphery. By now the Euro is an explicit battle between the creditors and the debtors. It’s not useful for our government to try to appear to be on the virtuous side of the winners – those supporting the Euro – and supporting reform. It’s not possible to reform the Euro from within but the fight must be fought on the outside and we must abandon this anti-democratic straitjacket. Our debt and lack of growth together with deflation, place us neatly in the category of those who are beaten by debt. Thus we’d do well to prepare ourselves with a government that is explicitly anti-Euro to defend ourselves from the final assault on the wealth of the Italian people who are ever more at risk, unless we reclaim our monetary sovereignty.

John HALLE: Two Lessons From Syriza’s Two (Biggest) Mistakes

Elke Schenk dokumentiert  auf
globalcrisis/globalchange News

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/07/17/syrizas-two-mistakes/print/

Two Lessons From Syriza’s Two (Biggest) Mistakes

Posted By John Halle On In articles 2015,Leading Article | Comments Disabled

That Syriza has made mistakes isn’t in dispute: they themselves have admitted to two main ones.

1) They failed to recognize, despite early , that the EU was negotiating in bad faith. The EU’s intention was never to reach an agreement but to destroy Syriza and with it the hope that the victims of the endless bleeding of austerity had any democratic recourse. Furthermore, the negotiations were themselves a tactic in that, as former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis now admits, they prevented him from focussing on the one thing which Syriza could have used in its negotiations: a viable plan to exit the Eurozone in a way which minimized disruption to the economy and maximize the chances that it would return to health in the shortest possible time.

2) We now know from Varoufakis that Syriza had “a small group . . . within the ministry, of about five people” that were planning in secret for a Grexit. This was, as he concedes, not even close to what was required to effect a viable transition to a new currency. Of course, no serious person should have any illusions that a Grexit would be “easy”, even with a massive investment in staff and infrastructure, any more than recovering from a major earthquake, hurricane or bombing of a nation’s major cities by a foreign power. Rather, just as a government is expected to prepare for disasters whether these are acts of god or attacks from hostile foreign powers, Syriza was derelict in failing to plan for what Varoufakis now accepts was “a coup” albeit executed not by “tanks” but by “banks”.

1) The Bankruptcy of “Speaking Truth to Power” Liberalism

Despite Syriza’s self-definition as “the party of the radical left”, much of its leadership and many of its advisers would reject the designation, more accurately being categorized within our political lexicon as liberals. Among these is Varoufakis’s close friend and UT Austin colleague Jamie Galbraith who described himself as “a reasonable and hopeful observer” of Syriza’s initial negotiations with the E.U. Rather than dismiss as a right wing ideologue German Chancellor Angela Merkel Galbraith praised her for “having made some of the mildest comments of any German politician,” and for having “chosen with care” her words on the subject of debt relief which, according to him, she had not rejected.

Galbraith’s report of the negotiations gave further grounds for hope that “the German government, having taken a very tough line through the process, took a step back from that tough line in order to secure a basic framework agreement for going forward.”

As we now know, the softening on the German’s hard line was a liberal chimera. Galbraith now recognizes that “the negotiations were a bit of a farce all along” and has admitted that he should have recognized that Chancellor Merkel was always “completely unreceptive.” […]

What is on display is the disenchantment of liberals who operated on a presumption of good intentions and underlying rationality of elite technocrats. Radicals such as Lapavistas do not. For them, providing “arguments” to the institutional representatives of capital makes no more sense than addressing a hyena with its fangs clamped on one’s jugular. The hyena is acting not according to reason but according to its fundamental nature and so are the capitalist hyenas who were the Syriza’s negotiating partners.

It was foolish to negotiate with any other expectation, as both Varoufakis and Galbraith now have effectively conceded.

2) Goldman Sachs DOES care (if you raise chickens)

A second explanation for one of Syriza’s crucial mistakes involves assumptions made by segments of their left, as opposed to (neo-) liberal wing, which includes Varoufakis and others who he refers to as “committed Europeanists.” By that he means that they are committed to the longstanding principle of left internationalism and cosmopolitanism. They also tend to view favorably the comparative advantage accruing to globalized trading networks which provide the economies of scale making possible large efficiencies in production of basic goods and also in making available raw materials at low cost. While their position is reasonable, it also has a negative side in that internationalists tend to denigrate the potential of local, small scale experiments in alternative economic systems of the sort which have been championed by Richard Wolff and Gar Alperowitz among others under the heading of worker self directed enterprises and workplace democracy.

Why this matters is that it is apparent that some form of what Wolff and Alperowitz are proposing will be crucial in the event of a Grexit. Prior to a national currency being re-established, local networks of production and exchange of the sort which globalization has long since eradicated will need to be revived and again made viable. That includes, incidentally, various forms of local food production of the sort denigrated by the verticalist left under the widely circulated meme “Goldman Sachs doesn’t care if you raise chickens.”

In fact, whether Greece will collapse into chaos and starvation will have to do with whether they are able to reduce their reliance on imported goods ramping up local production in all spheres including most crucially in food production-not as a neo-Calvinist moral imperative but to maintain a minimal caloric intake.

[…]

full text attached

Yours sincerely

Elke Schenk

globalcrisis/globalchange News

HALLE-Two-Lessons-from-Syrizas-Biggest-Mistakes-2015_07_17.pdf