Economic Articles from 2018
Don’t be Deceived! The Bank of England Stand at the Heart of the Brexit Process
by Steven Guinness
Posted December 31, 2018
Despite the power that globalist institutions yield, relatively little is said about them in the public domain. For instance, when stories regarding central banks breach the mainstream, they quickly fall out of the news cycle in favour of increasingly elaborate political theatre.
A case in point was last week’s release of the Bank of England’s EU Withdrawal Scenarios, which after less than a day’s coverage disappeared from the main headlines in both television and print media. Instead, the G20 meeting of world leaders, the continuing political recriminations over Brexit and ‘Russiagate‘ served as adequate distractions from the central bank. More…
The Game-Changing Promise of a Green New Deal
by Naomi Klein
Posted December 20, 2018
Like so many others, I’ve been energized by the bold moral leadership coming from newly elected members of Congress like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley in the face of the spiraling climate crisis and the outrageous attacks on unarmed migrants at the border. It has me thinking about the crucial difference between leadership that acts and leadership that talks about acting.
I’ll get to the Green New Deal and why we need to hold tight to that lifeline for all we’re worth. But before that, bear with me for a visit to the grandstanding of climate politics past. More..
The Green New Deal proposal has included the creation of public banks to help finance the projects. Now that is a game changer!
The Fed Will Continue Tightening Until Everything Breaks
by Brandon Smith
Posted December 13, 2018
First and foremost, let’s be clear, the Federal Reserve is an autonomous entity that does not answer to government oversight. It never has and it probably never will. This reality is supported by admissions by former Fed officials like Alan Greenspan, who publicly noted that the Fed answers to no one.
Fed propaganda asserts the lie that the bank is audited annually by the Government Accounting Office (GAO), but this is NOT an audit of Fed financial actions and policy initiatives. Rather, it is an audit of minor expenditures. Knowing how many pencils and desks the Fed purchases in a year does not help us to understand the bank’s influence over our economic security. All other audits of the Fed are done internally by the Fed’s own Board of Governors. This is hardly transparent or independent. More…
Jeff Bezos Puts The Pentagon On His Monopoly Board
by Jason Ditz
Posted November 29, 2018
While employees at Google and Microsoft are wary of collaborating with the military, Amazon revels in it…
Being the Pentagon’s friendly partner could come with potential costs. Bezos is setting Amazon up as an amoral alternative to the other major technology companies. When a Pentagon project breaks bad and the public starts asking how all this could have happened, the answer will be Amazon.
A recent test case for this was the NSA’s surveillance of the American public. Intended to be done entirely in secret, when it was revealed that the major telecoms were complicit, even though they were effectively forced by secret court orders to cooperate, their reputations suffered a hit. Customers began asking whether their privacy was safe with AT&T or Verizon.
Amazon is going down a risky path. They say that if you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas, and Amazon has made a conscious decision to climb into bed with some of the Pentagon’s most flea-bitten projects. If it wakes up in a mess, let’s make sure no one claims they didn’t see it coming. More…
For Russia Change Comes SWIFT
by Tom Luongo
Posted November 28, 2018
During the ruble crisis of 2014/15 Russia announced in the wake of U.S. and European sanctions over reunifying with Crimea that it would begin building a domestic electronic financial transfer system, an alternative to SWIFT.
That system, System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS), is not only now functioning in Russia, according to a report from RT it now handles the financial transfer data for more than half of Russia’s institutions.
A common theme on this blog is that control is an illusion. Power is ephemeral. The best way to exercise your power is to have it but never use it. Because once you do use it you define for your enemies the costs of their lack of compliance to your edicts. More…
Globalization Has Hollowed Out Rural America
by Charles Hugh Smith
Posted November 17, 2018
Proponents of globalization claim the few hundred dollars in annual household savings generated by shipping in commoditized goods are so beneficial nothing else matters. But if the cost of these paltry, essentially meaningless savings is the destruction of the local economy except for a handful of global corporate outposts and jumble shops, was this trade-off a good deal for rural communities?
I have often discussed the tyranny of price: making the sticker price the sole arbiter of value distorts the concept of value to the point of meaninglessness. Proponents of globalization overlook the intrinsic value of local control and local capital.
Once control of the local economy has been ceded to global corporations, the community has lost control of its destiny: the global corporation has only one goal and reason to exist: to increase capital and maximize profits by any means available. More…
How a Gang of Hedge Funders Strip-Mined Kentucky’s Public Pensions
by Gary Rivlin
Posted November 12, 2018
Kentucky’s willingness to gamble massively on high-risk alternative investments for its pensions has made the state an easy mark for Wall Street hucksters.
In April 2008, a longtime investment adviser named Chris Tobe was appointed to the board of trustees that oversees the Kentucky Retirement Systems, the pension fund that provides for the state’s firefighters, police, and other government employees. Within a year, his fellow trustees named Tobe to the six-person committee that oversees its investments, becoming the only member of the committee with any actual investment experience. It was an experiment in fiduciary responsibility that ended badly. “I started asking questions when things weren’t sounding right,” Tobe said. “And a secret session was held where they voted to kick me off.”
Several weeks after he was removed, the remaining members of the committee approved a $200 million investment in a hedge fund called Arrowhawk Capital Partners. Tobe, though he remained a trustee, only learned about the deal after the fact, while reading the magazine Pensions & Investments. More…
Wall Street Is Spending Big to Protect Its Ability to Jack Up Rents in California
by David Dayen
Posted November 09, 2018
For some on Wall Street, the financial crash of 2008 represented a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Homeowners who’d been walloped by the very crisis Wall Street had created were struggling to pay their mortgages, so financiers swooped in and bought up foreclosed homes, knowing the assets would eventually rise in price again.
But with so many people foreclosed on and out of work, selling the homes was difficult, so Wall Street hit on a different approach: renting them out. Now, the biggest practitioner of this gambit is spending heavily to make sure it stays lucrative.
Blackstone Group, a private equity giant that is also now the world’s largest real estate management firm, has pumped in $6,859,747 so far to battle a ballot measure in California that would allow cities to re-establish rent control laws, including on single-family homes. That figure constitutes $1 out of every $7 supporting the “No on Prop 10″ campaign and is part of a $45.5 million assault, mostly from corporate landlords and property developers, on the right of cities to determine their own rental laws. More…
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