BlackRock is a global financial giant with customers in 100 countries and its tentacles in major asset classes all over the world; and it now manages the spigots to trillions of bailout dollars from the Federal Reserve. The fate of a large portion of the country’s corporations has been put in the hands of a megalithic private entity with the private capitalist mandate to make as much money as possible for its owners and investors; and that is what it has proceeded to do.
In what is being called the worst financial crisis since 1929, the US stock market has lost a third of its value in the space of a month, wiping out all of its gains of the last three years. When the Federal Reserve tried to ride to the rescue, it only succeeded in making matters worse. The government then pulled out all the stops. To our staunchly capitalist leaders, socialism is suddenly looking good.
When the World Health Organization announced on February 24th that it was time to prepare for a global pandemic, the stock market plummeted. Over the following week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by more than 3,500 points or over 10%. In an attempt to contain the damage, on March 3rd the Federal Reserve slashed the fed funds rate from 1.5% to 1.0%, in their first emergency rate move and biggest one-time cut since the 2008 financial crisis. But rather than reassuring investors, the move fueled another panic sell-off.
with Richard D. Wolff
RT America on Mar 9, 2020
Economist and founder of Democracy at Work Dr. Richard Wolff and broadcasting legend Larry King join Rick Sanchez to weigh in on Wall Street’s terrifying Monday plunge, the worst since 2008. They explain the link between oil exploration and extraction and the debt that fuels it. They also discuss the role of the coronavirus outbreak in the economic crisis and its likely influence on US politics.
Although the repo market is little known to most people, it is a $1-trillion-a-day credit machine, in which not just banks but hedge funds and other “shadow banks” borrow to finance their trades. Under the Federal Reserve Act, the central bank’s lending window is open only to licensed depository banks; but the Fed is now pouring billions of dollars into the repo (repurchase agreements) market, in effect making risk-free loans to speculators at less than 2%.
RT on Jan 2, 2020
Continuing with their New Year’s Eve celebrations, the Keiser Report is joined by Dr. Michael Hudson, author of Super Imperialism: The Origin and Fundamentals of US World Dominance. Will 2020 see further decline in that super imperialism about which he first wrote all those decades ago? They discuss this and then turn to the upcoming elections in the US and whether or not he believes the stock market numbers will aid Trump. Finally, the discussion takes in Hudson’s views on uprisings globally and whether they herald the end of the age of neoliberalism.
What’s going on in the repo market? Rates on repurchase agreements (“repo”) should be around 2%, in line with the fed funds rate. But they shot up to over 5% on September 16 and got as high as 10% on September 17. Yet banks were refusing to lend to each other, evidently passing up big profits to hold onto their cash – just as they did in the housing market crash and Great Recession of 2008-09.
Why we need to abolish the Democratic National Committee, even if that means breaking up the Democratic Party
Thursday’s debate on Walt Disney’s ABC channel is shaping up as yet another shameless charade. The pretense is that we are to select who the Democratic presidential candidate will be. But the limited airing of their personalities reflects the fact that most Americans, as the Irish say, vote with their backsides, belonging to the informal but dominant party of non-voters who choose not to be sucked into legitimizing the bad choices put before them.
RT America on Jun 29, 2019
“Trump has taught us a lot about ourselves. He has taught us what happens when we don’t do our homework. He has taught us what happens when we don’t spend time on our civic duties back home….” In the second part of Chris Hedges’ interview with Ralph Nader, activist and attorney, on the importance of a civic life.
RT America on Dec 15, 2018
Economist and author, Michael Hudson, in his new book “…And Forgive Them Their Debts: Lending, Foreclosure and Redemption From Bronze Age Finance to the Jubilee Year,” shares with journalist Chris Hedges how Ancient cultures forgave debt cyclically to prevent debt peonage and the rise of an oligarch elite.
Updated: Sept. 19, 2018
Wall Street did not let the Lehman Brothers crisis go to waste. The banks that have paid the largest fines for financial fraud are now much bigger and more profitable. The victims of their junk mortgage loans are poorer, and the economy is facing debt deflation.
Peter Phillips, professor of Political Sociology at Sonoma State University and media researcher for Project Censored and Media Freedom Foundation, presented a summary of his groundbreaking new book Giants: The Global Power Elite last week at Fordham University’s campus in Manhattan. This was an information-packed session that explained the unique purpose of this new book: exposing to public view the private workings of the influential investment partnerships, global councils, think tanks, consortiums and other non-governmental organizations that translate the agenda of the wealthy one-percent into policy plans and proposals that the most powerful governments in the world can act on.
Why does the US media have an anti-Russian fixation? It’s not what the American people want to hear. 71% of the Ronald Reagan-loving, military-obsessed Republican Party approve of Trump meeting with Putin. On the other side, top liberal CNN commentator and former President Obama’s adviser, Van Jones has admitted in a video recording that the “Russiagate” story is a “big nothing burger” which Democrats are not interested in. The Russia-fixated, Hillary Clinton-DNC liberal establishment now faces an upsurge of opposition from Democratic Socialists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, who emphasize the need for populist economics reforms.
“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.” — Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket, Round Table Press (1935)