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.
RT on Oct 5, 2013
In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert, discuss David Cameron as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which causes the wealth of the nation to drop. They also discuss Continuous Payment Authorities as a metaphor for our financial systems continuously taking toll payments, whether via interest fees or inflation.
Part F in the Insider’s Economic Dictionary.
Factoid: A hypothesis, rumor or story so consonant with peoples’ preconceptions that it is accepted as a fact or working assumption, even though it often is made up a priori. Among the most notorious examples are the ideas of diminishing returns, equilibrium, that privatized ownership is inherently more efficient than public management, and that trickle-down economics works. (See Junk Science.)
Part E in the Insider’s Economic Dictionary.
Earned income: Wages or profits earned by labor or capital for their role in producing goods and services. As such, earned income excludes economic rent and interest, which are property and financial returns that must be paid out of profits and wages.
Part D in the Insider’s Economic Dictionary.
Debt: Only pure assets and equity ownership exist without corresponding debt. For financial saving, one party’s saving deposit, loan or credit appears as another party’s debt on the opposite side of the balance sheet. (Even net worth appears on the liabilities side of the balance sheet.)
Part C in the Insider’s Economic Dictionary.
Camouflage: A cloak of artificial attractiveness or even of invisibility. Financial debt-claims on the economy’s income and assets camouflage themselves as wealth, although the financial tactic is to strip it. (See Euphemism and Parasite.)
Part B to the Insider’s Economic Dictionary.
Bailout: Reimbursement to speculators and savers of losses incurred by bad loans, investments or deposits in banks that fail. The effect of this moral hazard is to preserve financial control in the hands of the economy’s wealthiest 10 percent, “making them whole” by shifting the loss onto the bottom 90 percent of the population in order to benefit those at the top of the pyramid (see Rentier and Oligarchy).
Yesterday President Obama chose Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois (originally founded by anti-slavery activists in the 1830s) to float the economic program he has been working out with Wall Street investment bankers. His aim is to wrap this program in a democratic rhetoric. The speech’s actual content boils down to: “I’m doing fine and housing prices are recovering. The way to heal the economy faster is to make a Public-Private Partnership (with Wall Street) to finance new infrastructure investment. The government will guarantee a return – and if there’s any loss, we (you taxpayers) will bear it.” His political genius was not to sugar-coat the shady parts of his proposals.
How can China avoid the “Western financial disease” – a real estate bubble followed by defaults and foreclosures? The U.S. and European economies originally sought to avoid this fate by taxing the location’s site value. A rent tax was the focus of Progressive Era reforms.
Enacting a rent tax remains China’s main challenge to accompany its privatization of real estate and natural resources. If land rent were fully taxed, it would not be paid to banks as interest for rising mortgage loans – and governments would not have to tax income and sales. Holding down housing debt will reduce labor’s cost of living, but not its living standards.
Part A in the Insider’s Economic Dictionary.
The Antidote to Euphemism
The fallacies that lurk in words are the quicksands of theory; and as the conduct of nations is built on theory, the correction of word-fallacies is the never-ending labor of Science. … the party in this country, one of whose great aims was, at one time, the perpetuation of slavery, owed much of its popular vote to the name Democracy.
– S. Dana Horton, Silver and Gold (1895)
CapitalWatch on Jul 20, 2013
Here’s what’s in your Prime Interest today:
Insolvent! That would be Detroit, which gave us the Supremes and the vehicles that fueled our happy motoring paradise for decades. Unfortunately, after years of decline, the Motor City finally filed for bankruptcy protection yesterday — a move that was not entirely unexpected. That’s right — $18 billion in liabilities is at stake — a record for the US. Is this the first domino that might just validate Meredity Whitney’s 2011 prediction of a wave of muni defaults? Continue reading
As published in the latest World Economics Association digest, the Real World Economics Review
The Federal Reserve’s QE3 has flooded the stock and bond markets with low-interest liquidity that makes it profitable for speculators to borrow cheap and make arbitrage gains buying stocks and bonds yielding higher dividends or interest. In principle, one could borrow at 0.15 percent (one sixth of one percent) and buy up stocks, bonds and real estate throughout the world, collecting the yield differential as arbitrage. Continue reading
RussiaToday May 18, 2013
In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert examine stories about those who, using spoof trades, bogus securities and fictitious capital, steal real wealth and income. They discuss how it is that every benchmark index is rigged and introduce the concept of the ‘bonus benchmark.’ In the second half, Max talks to Dr. Michael Hudson, author of The Bubble and Beyond, about debt and wage deflation and about the intersection of interest rates and wages going back to David Ricardo when wages were measured against the price of bread to today when they are measured against the price of debt.
This is from my book on privatization, written some 15 years ago, never published.
As in Chile, privatization in Britain was a victory for Chicago monetarism. This time it was implemented democratically. In fact, voters endorsed Margaret Thatcher’s selloff of public industries so strongly that by 1991, when she was replaced as prime minister by her own party’s John Major, only 35 percent of Britain’s voters supported the Labour Party – half the proportion registered in 1945. The Conservatives sold off public monopolies, used the proceeds to cut taxes, and put the privatized firms on a profit-making basis. Continue reading
We typically honor the convention to refrain from to speak ill of the recently departed. But Margaret Thatcher probably would not object to an epitaph focusing on how her political legacy was to achieve her professed aim of “irreversibly” dismantling Britain’s public sector. Attacking central planning by government, she shifted it into much more centralized financial hands – the City of London, unopposed by any economic back bench of financial regulation and “free” of meaningful anti-monopoly price regulation.