Moderate Rebels on Jan 8, 2022
Economist Michael Hudson explains the inflation crisis and the Fed’s secretive $4.5 trillion bank bailout.
Part I in the Insider’s Economic Dictionary.
Ideology: A set of assumptions so appealing that one looks at their abstract logic rather than at how the world actually works. (See Insanity.)
Ignorance: Socrates said that ignorance was the source of evil, because nobody knowingly commits evil. But by pursuing their own narrow interests, the financial and property sector destroy the social unit, which is the essence of evil as viewed from an evolutionary vantage point. Thomas Hobbes wrote in Leviathan (1651) that “Ignorance of remote causes disposeth men to attribute all events to the causes immediate and instrumental: for these are all the causes they perceive.”
In late June of 2011, the Greek government passed another round of austerity measures, ostensibly aimed at getting Greece “back on track” to economic progress, but in reality, implementing a systematic program of ‘social genocide’ in the name of servicing an endless and illegitimate debt to foreign banks. Right on cue, protests and riots broke out in Athens against the draconian measures, and the state moved in to do what states do best: oppress the people with riot police, tear gas and bashing batons, leaving roughly 300 people injured.
By Mike Whitney
Information Clearing House
April 26, 2011
The Federal Reserve is not going to push the economy into Zimbabwean hyperinflation. That’s pure bunkum. The Fed’s plan is to weaken the dollar to boost exports and to force China to let its currency appreciate to its fair-market value. The policy should help to lower the US’s bulging current account deficit. By purchasing $600 billion in US Treasuries (QE2), the Fed effectively reduces the supply of risk-free assets, which sends investors into riskier assets like stocks and commodities. Is there an element of class warfare in the policy?
How do the powerful keep the US population dumb and distracted? A key tactic has been using methodologies that produce totally misleading underestimates of key economic factors. First we learned that official unemployment figures are too low by a factor of two. Now, understand that the official rate of inflation hitting consumers is even more inaccurate. You will hear about a low inflation rate of less than 3 percent. In reality, it is closer to 10 percent, according to the highly regarded analysis by John Williams.
revised March 26, 2011
The euro is a very practical currency, but it makes millions of victims. This article contains a simple explanation why the euro can’t work and exposes the advantages of a shift to state money.
– No, European cooperation won’t disappear without the euro!
– And yes, with state money we are much better off!
The euro has an unsolvable problem. The countries that have severe debt problems today, if they succeed in reducing these debts by cuts in public spending, will predictably slide into debt again.
This is because these countries are victims of a fundamental flaw in the euro. Before the euro started, economists have warned, that a single currency can only work when all participating countries are economically homogeneous.   
The deficit hawks are circling, hovering over QE2, calling it just another inflationary bank bailout. But unlike QE1, QE2 is not about saving the banks. It’s about funding the federal deficit without increasing the interest tab, something that may be necessary in this gridlocked political climate just to keep the government functioning.
On November 15, the Wall Street Journal published an open letter to Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke from 23 noted economists, professors and fund managers, urging him to abandon his new “quantitative easing” policy called QE2. The letter said:
Last week, a Chinese rating agency downgraded U.S. debt from triple A and number one globally, to “double A with a negative outlook” and only thirteenth worldwide. The downgrade renewed fears that the sovereign debt crisis that began in Greece will soon reach America. That is the concern, but the U.S. is distinguished from Greece in that its debt is denominated in its own currency, over which it has sovereign control. The government can simply print the money it needs, or borrow it from a central bank that prints it. We should not let deficit hawks and short sellers dissuade the government from pursuing that obvious expedient.
We did not hear much about “sovereign debt” until early this year, when Greece hit the skids. Investment adviser Martin Weiss wrote in a February 24 newsletter:
Renegade Economist » Renegade Economist Talkshow – 2nd October (no longer available)
The Talkshow is back and we kick off the season answering your questions with our guests Dominic Frisby and Michael Hudson. The team discusses gold, Zimbabwe hyper-inflation v 70’s inflation, deflation and the Japanese lost decade. Keep your questions coming in at email@example.com
by Josh Sidman
August 24, 2009
It is said that people living in war zones become so acclimated to horror and destruction that they hardly even notice it after a while. While a car bomb in Manhattan would bring the entire city to a standstill, one in Baghdad probably goes unnoticed by everyone except those immediately affected by it. Unfortunately, much the same can be said about the American economy these days. Disasters have become so commonplace that they hardly even register in the average American’s consciousness anymore.
by Josh Sidman
August 10, 2009
One of the most peculiar aspects of the economic crisis is also one of the least remarked upon. Never in recent memory have so many economic experts warned of the prospect of inflation while an equally large group warned of impending deflation. In all but the most unusual cases, inflation and deflation are mutually exclusive. Either one or the other might be a threat, but not both at the same time. The current bizarre situation is as if a group of doctors examined a patient and half of the doctors warned that the patient was freezing to death while the other half diagnosed the patient with heat stroke.
Inflation is the phenomenon of too much money chasing too few goods, thereby causing rising prices, whereas deflation is the opposite – i.e. a glut of goods and services with not enough demand, thereby causing prices to fall. So, how is it possible that both could threaten us simultaneously?
Ralph Foster, author of “Fiat Paper Currency — The History and Evolution of Our Money,” points out that the quote opening my article of May 19, 2009 on the Weimar inflation came from his book. (“It was horrible. Horrible! Like lightning it struck. No one was prepared. The shelves in the grocery store were empty. You could buy nothing with your paper money.”) My source was a secondary one that omitted that attribution, so I’ll make it here with apologies. Here is an endorsement of Foster’s groundbreaking book by Ruth Hanham, Ph.D., of Harvard University:
“[Foster] states his case clearly, drawing on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, touching upon many diverse cultures, from the Chinese to the European to the North American. His professional familiarity with all types of currency and coinage grounds the book, making it refreshingly free of airy theories and complicated jargon, accessible to any intelligent reader. I highly recommend it.”
Ruth S. Arnon Hanham
Harvard University 1978
Ellen Brown developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In Web of Debt, her latest book, she turns those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and “the money trust.” She shows how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her eleven books include the bestselling Nature’s Pharmacy, co-authored with Dr. Lynne Walker, and The Key to Ultimate Health (co-authored with Dr. Richard Hansen). Her websites are www.webofdebt.com and www.ellenbrown.com
The Republicans are convinced that hyperinflation is just around the corner, but don’t believe it. The real enemy is deflation, which is why Fed chief Bernanke has taken such extraordinary steps to pump liquidity into the system. The economy is flat on its back and hemorrhaging a half a million jobs per month. The housing market is crashing, retail sales are in a funk, manufacturing is down, exports are falling, and consumers have started saving for the first time in decades. There’s excess capacity everywhere and aggregate demand has dropped off a cliff. If it wasn’t for the Fed’s monetary stimulus and myriad lending facilities, the economy would be stretched out on a marble slab right now. So, where’s the inflation? Here’s Paul Krugman with part of the answer:
“It’s important to realize that there’s no hint of inflationary pressures in the economy right now. Consumer prices are lower now than they were a year ago, and wage increases have stalled in the face of high unemployment. Deflation, not inflation, is the clear and present danger….