Economic Articles from 2018
America’s One-sided Domestic Financial War
By Raymond Matison
Posted September 1, 2018
Domestically, there are two institutions which are capable of starting, executing, and managing a domestic or a global financial war. The first is the Federal Reserve System, which with its banks has the unfettered power to print money, create credit, and set interest rates. The second is our own government which through its elected officials sets foreign policy that includes its demonstrated power to influence foreign elections, covertly remove uncooperative foreign leaders from office, and to wage war both physical and financial without any formal declarations.
America’s participation in the Korean War over seventy years ago was defined as a police action rather than a war which would have required Congressional approval, and conflicts since then have mostly eluded the requirement for congressional approval. However, no financial war has required a formal declaration nor Congressional approval, as they are initiated against any targeted country without visible bloodshed, frequently on a clandestine basis. More…
We Are All Hostages of Corporate Profits
by Charles Hugh Smith
Posted August 21, 2018
We’re in the endgame of financialization and globalization, and it won’t be pretty for all the hostages of corporate profits.Though you won’t read about it in the mainstream corporate media, the nation is now hostage to outsized corporate profits.
The economy and society at large are now totally dependent on soaring corporate profits and the speculative bubbles they fuel, and this renders us all hostages: “Make a move to limit corporate profits or speculative bubbles, and your pension fund gets a bullet in the head.”
Not just pension funds, of course; tax revenues will also be taken out and shot as most of the state and federal income taxes are paid by high-earners and those skimming capital gains from stock options and stock-based compensation packages. More…
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…
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