Geography Archives: Italy

  • Economic Recovery for the Few

    Where is this elusive recovery?  The banks, some say, have “recovered.”  Yet they remain dependent on Washington, they do not make the loans needed for a general recovery, and many medium and small banks keep collapsing.  The stock market shows no recovery.  The Dow index was 14,000 in late 2007 when capitalism hit the fan, […]

  • Greece and the IMF: Who Exactly Is Being Saved?

      Excerpt: Importantly, the initial collapse and following standstill in economic activity and nominal levels of GDP is also extremely bad news for the strategy of fiscal consolidation itself.  On the one hand, to keep on servicing interest payments (see above), nominal debt will continue to go up.  On the other hand, nominal GDP goes […]

  • “Secularism . . . a Really Interesting Problematic”: A Conversation with Joan Wallach Scott

    DKK: Joan, because people know you as many things — as a theorist of gender, as a cultural historian, as an inveterate advocate for academic freedom and defender of the rights of the professoriate — I’m curious how you would describe yourself to someone who had never met Joan Scott. JWS: That’s really hard . […]

  • Umberto Digital Haiku No. 2

      An interactive cinematic experiment that reinterprets a shot from the film Umberto D by Vittorio de Sica, manipulating it in response to the attention that the viewer devotes to it.  Umberto D depicts Italy in 1952 in the middle of a deep recession, a mirror of the current economic crisis. Fernando Nabais, Project Manager, […]

  • Productivity Is Up, So Why Cut Social Programs?

      Paul Jay: So, first of all, your take on what the G-20 decided, this idea of cuts in Europe and North America and maybe some expansion in China.  And is there some alternative to this? Robert Pollin: Well, the notion of imposing austerity at a moment when we may — may — be slowly […]

  • The Merkel Model Spreads to Japan

    The European public debt crisis, artificially created by the puritan obtuseness of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, has spread to even Japan.  In fact, Naoto Kan, the new prime minister, mentioned Greece in a speech in which he claimed to fear the collapse of the Japanese economy under a heavy public debt equal to 230 percent […]

  • The Magic Kingdom

    Pacho Maturana, Colombian, a man of vast experience in these matters, says that football is a magic kingdom, where anything can happen.  The recent World Cup confirmed his words: it was a strange World Cup. Strange were the ten stadiums where the matches were held, beautiful, immense, which cost a fortune.  No one knows what […]

  • The Dollar Question: Where Are We?

      The global crisis has led some to question the dollar’s place as the dominant currency.  This column discusses three camps in the literature: those advocating a new synthetic global currency, those arguing that a new reserve currency will emerge, and those suggesting a return to sharing the role.  It concludes that talk of the […]

  • Eurozone Crisis: Beggar Thyself and Thy Neighbour

    Excerpt: The mechanisms of crisis Gains for German capital, losses for German workers and periphery i. Monetary union has imposed fiscal rigidity, removed monetary independence, and forced economic adjustment through the labour market.  Workers have lost share of output relative to capital in Germany and peripheral countries. ii. The German economy has performed poorly, with […]

  • United against Us, Divided among Themselves: Toronto and European Assault on Living Standards

      Martin Wolf described it as “a bloodbath.”  The Financial Times editorial called it a “chilling read.”  Britain’s budget is one of austerity, the likes of which has not been seen in generations.  A 25 per cent cut in public spending; a quarter of a million or more public sector jobs to be slashed.  It […]

  • The Excess of the Left in Iran

    Maziar Behrooz.  Rebels with a Cause: The Failure of the Left in Iran.  I.B. Tauris, 2000. The role of the left in the Iranian Revolution is complicated, what Frederic Jameson and Slavoj Žižek would call the ‘vanishing mediator’ of the event.  The fact that at their peak Iranian Marxists commanded the loyalty of millions, and […]

  • Caesarism

      Caesarism.  Caesar, Napoleon I, Napoleon III, Cromwell, etc.  Compile a catalog of historical events which have culminated in a great “heroic” personality.  It may be said that caesarism is an expression of a situation in which the forces in struggle are balanced in a catastrophic way, that is, balanced in a way that continuation […]

  • You Can’t Eat a Collateralized Debt Obligation: Why Money Doesn’t Make the World Go Round

    The global financial crisis that began in 2007 was clearly about money, credit, and finance.  For mainstream economists and politicians — from neoliberals like John B. Taylor at Stanford and Tony Abbott, through pragmatists like Barack Obama and Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd, to Keynesians and social democrats like Paul Krugman at Princeton and John […]

  • The 4th UN Sanction Resolution against Iran: The End of “Tough Diplomacy”

    Prior to the 2008 US presidential election, in an essay entitled “What the Future Has in Store for Iran,” I predicted that regardless of who is elected president, the US foreign policy toward Iran will be determined largely by Israel and its various lobby groups in the US, especially the American Israel Public Affairs Committee […]

  • Kalecki Again

    Not very long ago, one of the main concerns of the U.S. labor movement and left-liberals was winning the passage of a full employment policy at the federal level.  In fact, this goal was attained in 1978 when Congress passed and President Carter signed the Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment Act, which ostensibly committed the federal government […]

  • No Justice, No Euro!

    The current turmoil in financial markets around the world is another illustration of the damage that can be done by a bloated and politically powerful financial sector, combined with finance ministers and central bankers who identify with this sector and have their own right-wing policy agenda. Welcome to Europe, which has become the epicenter of […]

  • Revisiting Global Imbalances

    Until recently, the discussion on global imbalances focused on the current account deficit of the US and the current account surplus of China, making this a bilateral rather than a multilateral problem.  As a result, the process of rebalancing was seen as involving adjustments in either or both of these countries, and not so much […]

  • Market Irrationality in the Eurozone

    Markets can be irrational, as Keynes famously pointed out, and the Eurozone/Greek crisis is a classic example.  “The markets” for months have been demanding more blood from Greece, as the financial press has continuously and often unquestioningly reported: more commitment to spending cuts, tax increases, and “procyclical” policies that the bondholders, EU authorities, and the […]

  • The European Union’s Dangerous Game

    Perhaps the wild swings in financial and stock markets over the last week will make people give closer scrutiny to what is going on in Europe, which would be a good thing for the world.  According to most news reporting, markets are worried about a potential default by Greece on its sovereign debt, and the […]

  • Class Struggles and National Debts

    The political conflicts and street battles in Greece today foretell what is coming to many countries including the US.  The struggles are basically over what the government spends on and who pays the taxes.  In today’s class-divided societies, classes differ over what governments should do and who should pay the taxes.  Governments in such societies […]