Saturday, October 08, 2016

Michael Hudson reviews James Galbraith's: 'Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice'

Michael Hudson in a review of James Galbraith’s new book: 'Welcome to the Poisoned Chalice’ says of current solutions to the post-financial crisis world that: 
financial interests override sovereign  self-determination  and national referendums on economic and social policy…[and] impose austerity and force privatisation selloffs that are basically foreclosures on indebted economies. Galbraith rightly calls this financial colonialism.’
Real-world economics review issue 76 carries the review.

It points out that resolutions to the current situation have been available since the 1920s. The book covers the economic traumas that the Greek nation is going through.  The prospect is that similar measures across the Eurozone will turn it into a dead zone along the lines of Latvia’s... 
‘disastrous ‘’success’’ story involving drastic emigration and declining after-tax wages’.

The solutions imposed through bond holders involve widening fiscal deficits, with countries being forced to sell off their land and mineral rights, public buildings, electric utilities, phone and communications systems, et al, at distress prices.

The problem is that the EU’S central bank (ECB) does not finance deficit spending to revive employment and economic growth. Additionally the German constitution imposes austerity by blocking funding of other countries budget deficits (except for quantitative easing to save bankers).  The 2010 bailout by banks is likened to the unpayably high German reparations imposed in the 1920s. The hope of the lenders is that deep austerity and privatisation will enable the repayments, when what is really needed is bad debt writeoffs and an expansionary fiscal policy.  

Lord Turner back at ECOBATE 2011 spoke on 'managing credit creation to deliver social optimality' See this Blog link.  
And (same blog) Chris Giles of the FT in 2013 has: 'Turner defends permanent printing of money'.

In the You-Tube film 'Debt-Free and Interest-Free money' Richard Werner exposes the false notion that debt alone is the only solution for government expenditure:  'The government can spend money into circulation, money it has issued'.

Galbraith's book highlights the rule in Europe by the dictats of finance and banking favouring right wing governments, along with opposition to any left wing alternatives to austerity. They won in Greece.

The UK has a different Conservative government from 3 months ago that looks to be setting policy ideals derived from left, right and centre. How radical will its economic changes prove to be? Chancellor Philip Hammond is soon to make an Autumn Statement on the economy. Does he realise the powers he has to invest for the common good without increasing debt? 

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