Economic Articles from 2018
After long career bailing out big banks, Obama Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner
by Jake Johnson
Posted August 17, 2018
“Your economy, rigged to redistribute wealth to the top.” After a lengthy government career defined by his central role in bailing out predatory Wall Street banks as former President Barack Obama’s Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner appears to have found his true calling in the private sector, where he now heads a large financial institution that exploits the economic struggles of poor Americans for profit.
As president of Warburg Pincus – a major New York private equity firm – Geithner helps manage a lucrative predatory lending outfit called Mariner Finance, which mass-mails loan checks to low-income Americans, hides exorbitant interest rates in the fine print, and quickly sues those who fail to repay the loan and interest in time, according to a detailed Washington Post report published late Sunday. More…
Amazon’s Fusion With the State Shows Neoliberalism’s Drift to Neo-Fascism
by Elliott Gabriel
Posted August 15, 2018
This year may go down in history as a turning-point when the world finally woke up to the dark side of the ubiquitous presence of popular Silicon Valley companies in our daily lives. One can only hope so, at least.
From Amazon to Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft and PayPal – among others – revelations poured out confirming the ongoing abuse of user data by monopolistic corporations, as well as their growing role as vendors of surveillance technology to the U.S. police state, military, and migrant detention agencies.
In March, the lid was blown off of the violation of user data on Facebook, with Cambridge Analytica mining user information for the purpose of providing millions of detailed “psychological profiles” to the Trump campaign, among others. Scarcely two weeks later, the Google campus was in an uproar over the development of its “Project Maven,” which was building an AI-fueled platform to vastly upgrade the automatic targeting abilities of the U.S. military’s global drone fleet. Faced with public outrage and internal dissent, the company pulled out of bidding to renew its Pentagon contract, which ends next year. More…
Trade War Provides Perfect Cover For The Elitist Engineered Global Reset
by Brandon Smith
Posted August 12, 2018
Over the past several months, I have been examining the underlying or hidden motivations behind the currently expanding global trade war, including the impressive level of cognitive dissonance surrounding the issue. The political left doesn’t seem to have an intelligent grasp of economic issues in the slightest. I’m not seeing any critical discussion from leftist media outlets or pundits on fiscal uncertainties, and the only reaction that is common from them is that they hope that the trade war results in the financial downfall of the US so that Trump can be voted out in 2020.
They may very well get their wish, but they seem to imagine themselves celebrating at the end of the disaster, and I predict they’ll be so concerned with their own financial survival that they won’t have time to celebrate…
The initial reaction in conservative circles to the trade war was unfortunately overconfident denial, with many refusing to call the situation a “trade war” at all and some predicting an end to the conflict before it began. Obviously those assumptions are proving incorrect. More…
Solar Is the Future. Donald Trump Tied a Bow on It and Gave It to China.
by Jeffrey Ball
Posted August 6, 2018
“Made in China” has long been seen as shorthand for shoddy. Whether it was fast fashion or toys, the rap on Chinese manufacturing used to be that it was all about leveraging cut-rate labor to knock off products designed in the West. Cheaper, certainly. Better, hardly. But that is changing fast—especially in the booming clean-energy sector. From solar to batteries to electric vehicles, China is rapidly gaining on the West in the most important arena of all: innovation.
In part that’s due to dysfunction in US clean-energy policy—which began before President Donald Trump but is intensifying under his watch. It’s also a result of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s belief that clean-energy innovation is critical to economic growth and the Communist Party’s survival. More…
Nomi Prins: The central banking heist has put the world at risk
by Liam Halligan
Posted July 28, 2018
“The 2008 financial crisis was the consequence of a loosely regulated banking system in which power was concentrated in the hands of too limited a cast of speculators,” Nomi Prins tell me. “And after the crisis, the way the US government and the Federal Reserve dealt with this corrupt and criminal banking system was to give them a subsidy.”
Such strong, withering analysis is, perhaps, unexpected from someone who has held senior roles at Wall Street finance houses such as Bear Stearns and Goldman Sachs. But Prins is no ordinary former banker.
Prins has chronicled the closed and often confusing world of high finance through the 2008 crisis and beyond. More…
Why a Central Bank Can Never Run Out of Money
By Chris Mayer
Posted July 22, 2018
We can’t run out of money,” economist L. Randall Wray said. The U.S. government spends through keystrokes that credit bank accounts, he continued. The money comes from nowhere. The government doesn’t need to finance itself with taxes. And it doesn’t borrow its own currency. It can afford all that is for sale in dollars.
Despite laying out an incontrovertible set of facts, Wray’s audience often is aghast. He says he gets four reactions when he tells people about how the government spends:
Incredulity: “That’s crazy!”
Fear: “Zimbabwe! Weimar!”
Moral indignation: “You’d destroy our economy!”
Anger: “You’re a dirty pinko commie fascist!” More…
The U.S. Dollar: A Victim of Its Own Success
By James Rickards
Posted July 20, 2018
America’s most powerful weapon of war does not shoot, fly or explode. It’s not a submarine, plane, tank or laser. America’s most powerful strategic weapon today is the dollar.
The U.S. uses the dollar strategically to reward friends and punish enemies. The use of the dollar as a weapon is not limited to trade wars and currency wars, although the dollar is used tactically in those disputes. The dollar is much more powerful than that.
The dollar can be used for regime change by creating hyperinflation, bank runs and domestic dissent in countries targeted by the U.S. The U.S. can depose the governments of its adversaries, or at least blunt their policies without firing a shot. More…
The American Empire and its Media
by Swiss Propaganda Research
Posted July 19, 2018
Largely unbeknownst to the general public, executives and top journalists of almost all major US news outlets have long been members of the influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).
Established in 1921 as a private, bipartisan organization to “awaken America to its worldwide responsibilities”, the CFR and its close to 5000 elite members have for decades shaped U.S. foreign policy and public discourse about it.
Based on official membership rosters, the following illustration for the first time depicts the extensive media network of the CFR and its two main international affiliate organizations: the Bilderberg Group (covering mainly the U.S. and Europe) and the Trilateral Commission (covering North America, Europe and East Asia), both established by Council leaders to foster elite cooperation at the international level. More…
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