Economic Articles from 2019
The Secret to Funding a Green New Deal
by Ellen Brown
Posted March 21, 2019
As alarm bells sound over the advancing destruction of the environment, a variety of Green New Deal proposals have appeared in the U.S. and Europe, along with some interesting academic debates about how to fund them. Monetary policy, normally relegated to obscure academic tomes and bureaucratic meetings behind closed doors, has suddenly taken center stage.
The 14-page proposal for a Green New Deal submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., does not actually mention Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), but that is the approach currently capturing the attention of the media—and taking most of the heat. The concept is good: Abundance can be ours without worrying about taxes or debt, at least until we hit full productive capacity. But, as with most theories, the devil is in the details.
MMT advocates say the government does not need to collect taxes before it spends. It actually creates new money in the process of spending it; and there is plenty of room in the economy for public spending before demand outstrips supply, driving up prices. More…
Much like personal mortgages, interest charges on public projects can easily more than double in cost over the life of the loan. Yet banks actually create this money out of thin air and then charge interest on it.
Consider how much we could save if we eliminated the Wall Street banker middle men and could finance these public projects at little to no interest charges through public banks.
4,823 U.S. Banks Have Disappeared Since 1999
By Pam Martens
Posted March 15, 2019
At the end of 1999, the year that President Bill Clinton and his Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin brokered the deal to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and allow the casino investment banks on Wall Street to gobble up deposit-taking banks, there were 10,220 federally insured banks and savings institutions in the United States. Today, that number stands at 5,397, a decline of 47 percent according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). What exactly happened to those disappeared banks?
We examined FDIC data to see if the sharp falloff in bank numbers was from failures or mergers. We found that the vast majority of the decline resulted from banks being absorbed in mergers. By the end of 2005, six years after the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the U.S. still had 8,832 federally insured banking institutions. But in just that year alone, 315 banks were lost to mergers. By 2010, the number of U.S. banking institutions had dropped to 7,657 with 197 institutions absorbed that year through mergers. In years 2015, 2016 and 2017, there were a total of 786 federally insured banking institutions absorbed through mergers. More…
After bank de-regulation, money is becoming more and more concentrated in the large banks with the heaviest exposure to dangerous derivative bets.
What will be the consequences if we do not reimpose strict regulations on the big banks and do not stop these acquisitions and mergers?
Capitalism vs. Socialism Is a False Choice
by David Korten
Posted March 13, 2019
The critical economic and political question for humanity is not whether our means of living will be controlled by corporations or government, but whether control will be concentrated for the benefit of the few or dispersed, with benefits shared by everyone.
The power of plutocracy depends on keeping the people divided against each other along gender, racial, religious, or other fault lines. The goal is to divert our attention from themselves so that they can maintain their power and continue to amass wealth.
Champions of plutocracy would also have us believe that we must choose between two options: capitalism (private ownership and management) or socialism (government ownership and management). They prefer we not notice that in their most familiar forms, both capitalism and socialism feature an undemocratic concentration of control over the means of living in the hands of the few. Democracy is essential for either to work effectively for the benefit of all. More…
What Caused the Recession of 2019-2021?
by Charles Hugh Smith
Posted March 10, 2019
The banquet of consequences is now being served, but the good seats have all been taken.
As I discussed in We’re Overdue for a Sell-Everything/No-Fed-Rescue Recession, recessions have a proximate cause and a structural cause. The proximate cause is often a spike in energy costs (1973, 1990) or a financial crisis triggered by excesses of speculation and debt (2000 and 2008) or inflation (1980).
Structural causes are imbalances that build up over time: imbalances in trade or currency flows, capital investment, debt, speculation, labor compensation, wealth-income inequality, energy supply and consumption, etc. These structural distortions and imbalances tend to interact in self-reinforcing dynamics that overlap with normal business/credit cycles. More…
Swiss Computer Model: “The One Bank” Superentity Controls 40% of the Global Economy
by Jeff Nielson
Posted March 6, 2019
A few years ago, readers were introduced to a paradigm of crime, corruption, and control which they now know as “the One Bank”. First they were presented with a definition and description of this crime syndicate.
That definition came via a massive computer model constructed by a trio of Swiss academics, and cited with favor by Forbes magazine. The computer model was based upon data involving more than 10 million “economic actors”, both individuals and corporations, and the conclusions which that model produced were nothing less than shocking.
The One Bank is “a super-entity” comprised of 147 corporate fronts, with approximately ¾ of these corporate fronts being financial intermediaries (i.e. “banks”). More…
Ever increasing mergers and acquisitions are making the transnational corporations larger and larger. This is consolidating their grip on the lives of all nations and people across the planet.
What will be the consequences of this ever increasingly transnational corporate tight grip on our lives? Do we really wish to go from the “company town” of the past to the “company nation” of the future?
The Venezuela Myth Keeping Us From Transforming Our Economy
by Ellen Brown
Posted March 3, 2019
Venezuela’s problems are not the result of the government issuing money and using it to hire people to build infrastructure, provide essential services and expand economic development. If it were, unemployment would not be at 33 percent and climbing. Venezuela has a problem the U.S. does not, and will never have: It owes massive debts in a currency it cannot print itself, namely, U.S. dollars.
When oil (its principal resource) was booming, Venezuela was able to meet its repayment schedule. But when the price of oil plummeted, the government was reduced to printing Venezuelan bolivars and selling them for U.S. dollars on international currency exchanges. As speculators drove up the price of dollars, more and more printing was required by the government, massively deflating the national currency.
It was the same problem suffered by Weimar Germany and Zimbabwe, the two classic examples of hyperinflation typically raised to silence proponents of government expansion of the money supply before Venezuela suffered the same fate. More…
The corporate controlled main stream media is constantly repeating lies about the Venezuelan economy.
Could the propaganda narrative of the main stream media be keeping the U.S. from reforming its own debt based monetary system? What would be the benefits if we were to eliminate the banker middle men and their interest charges in the creation of U.S. dollars?
Leaked Wikileaks Doc Reveals US Military Use of IMF, World Bank as “Unconventional” Weapons
by Whitney Webb
Posted March 2, 2019
This “U.S. coup manual,” recently highlighted by WikiLeaks, serves as a reminder that the so-called “independence” of such financial institutions as The World Bank and IMF is an illusion and that they are among the many “financial weapons” regularly used by the U.S. government to bend countries to its will.
In a leaked military manual on “unconventional warfare” recently highlighted by WikiLeaks, the U.S. Army states that major global financial institutions — such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) — are used as unconventional, financial “weapons in times of conflict up to and including large-scale general war,” as well as in leveraging “the policies and cooperation of state governments.” More…
The United States uses economic institutions as weapons against nations that do not serve globalist interests.
Think about this as you hear news from the corporate owned main stream media of the “economic” problems in Venezuela, realize that these problems are staged to prepare the country for a coup.
Congressman Demands CFTC Explain Its Failure to Find Silver Market Manipulation Where DOJ Did
by JP Cortez
Posted February 28, 2019
U.S. Justice Department obtained a guilty plea from a former commodities trader for JPMorganChase & Co. to charges of manipulating the gold and silver markets between 2009 and 2015, and its investigation into the actions of related parties is ongoing.
The period of time at issue substantially overlaps the time during which your commission was investigating complaints of manipulation of the silver market – 2008 to 2013. However, in 2013, the commission announced that it had closed its investigation without finding any wrongdoing.
Why did the commission fail to find the wrongdoing the Justice Department has confirmed and continues to investigate? Also, will the commission now be re-opening its investigation into silver market manipulation and opening an investigation into gold market manipulation? If not, why not? More…
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