Economists Radhika Desai and Michael Hudson explain the end of the British empire’s sterling area with the rise of the US dollar system, its central role in imperialism, and why it ultimately failed to accomplish Washington’s hegemonic goals.
Wishing for central banks to act in the interest of working people rather than the financial industry is about as fruitful as hoping a starving wolf won’t eat the chicken that was just placed next to it. Pigs will fly, the Amazon will freeze over and Wall Street will give all its money away before a central bank in the capitalist core goes against its raison d’être.
Prof. Hudson speaks on the nature of US financial dominance, the role of World Bank in developing countries, USA’s ability to run a huge balance of payment deficit, changes in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union, the problems of US economy with post-industrialization, and the role of neoclassical economics in all this.
But nobody thought that it would happen this fast.
Empires often follow the course of a Greek tragedy, bringing about precisely the fate that they sought to avoid. That certainly is the case with the American Empire as it dismantles itself in not-so-slow motion.
Noting that there is always money to be thrown at the finance industry but little for social needs is by now about as startling as noting the Sun rose in the east this morning. But what is eye-opening is the truly gargantuan amounts of money handed out to benefit the wealthy.
On 22-24 November 2019, International Seminar on Land, Finance, and De-dollarization was held in Macau, China, which was co-organized by Global University for Sustainability, Lingnan University, Southwest University, and the Federal University of Espirito Santo.
While U.S. advocates and local politicians struggle to get their first public banks chartered, Mexico’s new president has begun construction on 2,700 branches of a government-owned bank to be completed in 2021, when it will be the largest bank in the country. At a press conference on Jan. 6, he said the neoliberal model had failed; private banks were not serving the poor and people outside the cities, so the government had to step in.
Conceding that their grip on the economy is slipping, central bankers are proposing a radical economic reset that would shift yet more power from government to themselves.
Central bankers are acknowledging that they are out of ammunition. Mark Carney, the soon-to-be-retiring head of the Bank of England, said in a speech at the annual meeting of central bankers in August in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, “In the longer-term, we need to change the game.” The same point was made by Philipp Hildebrand, former head of the Swiss National Bank, in an August 2019 interview with Bloomberg. “Really there is little if any ammunition left,” he said. “More of the same in terms of monetary policy is unlikely to be an appropriate response if we get into a recession or sharp downturn.”
Payments can happen cheaply and easily without banks or credit card companies. This has now been demonstrated – not in the United States but in China. Unlike in the US, where numerous firms feast on fees from handling and processing payments, in China most money flows through mobile phones nearly for free. In 2018 these cashless payments totaled a whopping $41.5 trillion; and 90% were through Alipay and WeChat Pay, a pair of digital ecosystems that blend social media, commerce and banking. According to a May 2018 article in Bloomberg titled “Why China’s Payment Apps Give U.S. Bankers Nightmares“: Continue reading →
Professor Hudson, in January you warned in Berlin at the Rosa Luxemburg Conference, about the still “dangerous” US financial imperialism. The US uses “financial weapons”, you said. Can you explain that briefly?
Central bankers are now aggressively playing the stock market. To say they are buying up the planet may be an exaggeration, but they could. They can create money at will, and they have declared their “independence” from government. They have become rogue players in a game of their own.