Subjects Archives: Global Economic Crisis

  • The Manufactured “Financial Crisis” of the U.S. Postal Service

    September 21, 2011 Senator Joseph Lieberman Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee United States Senate SH-706 Hart Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510-0703 Congressman Darrell Issa Chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee House of Representatives 2347 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515-0549 If the U.S. Postal Service were forced […]

  • Two Decades of Neo-Liberal Reforms in India: The Worsening Employment Situation

    Two decades after neo-liberal economic reforms started in India as part of the agenda of imperialist globalisation, the condition of the masses of the labouring poor is worse in every part of the country except where some positive intervention has taken place to stabilise livelihoods.  The richest minority at the top of the income pyramid […]

  • Fred Magdoff on What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know about Capitalism

    What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know about Capitalism is a short, accessible introduction to the ecological crisis that is intended for a wide audience — why did you decide to write a book like this, and why now? In the fall of 2008 I attended a conference where discussion of the environment was prominent, although […]

  • The “Debt Crisis” Myth

    The prevailing understanding of economic troubles in the U.S. and Europe, the world’s two largest economies, is mistaken in a number of ways.  First: Imagine that you are driving a car down a road packed with snow and ice and you are worried about an accident.  At the same time you are ignoring the fact […]

  • Deficits, Debts, and Deepening Crisis

    Standard and Poor’s downgrades US debt, stock markets gyrate around the world, Sarkozy and Merkel perform yet another empty summit, the Chinese and Japanese economies look worrisome.  Serious commentators worry about global recession, another global banking collapse, eurozone dissolution, and austerity programs that only make matters worse.  Nouriel Roubini, famed Professor at NYU’s Stern School […]

  • Venezuela and Iran to Raise Levels of Coordination at OPEC in View of Financial Crisis

    Communiqué The president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Comandante Hugo Chávez, communicated by telephone with the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in the afternoon of the 15th of August, 2011. President Ahmadinejad said to President Chávez that, in this sacred month of Ramadan, he and millions of Iranians are praying […]

  • Sense and Nonsense in the Balanced Budget Debate: A Socialist Response

      The Republicans have successfully changed the main emphasis of the economic debate from job creation to deficit control.  Why the urgency for balanced budgets?  After all, this anemic “recovery” has set itself apart from all previous post-war turnarounds precisely by its manifest failure to generate jobs.  Economic growth needs to considerably exceed 3% per […]

  • The Debt Ceiling: A Guide for the Bewildered

      It is very difficult to explain American politics to those who are not Americans and/or have not lived here long enough.  Add to that the confusion over basic economic principles, and it becomes almost impossible to explain the debt-ceiling debate to rational people. As noted by James Galbraith, this is not a fiscal crisis, […]

  • Jamaica Remains Buried Under a Mountain of Debt, Despite Restructuring

    As the eurozone authorities move closer to accepting the inevitable Greek debt default/restructuring, there are some who have pointed to the Jamaican debt restructuring of last year as a model.  It’s hard to imagine a worse disaster for Greece.  It is worth a closer look at what has been done to Jamaica, not only as […]

  • Global Oil Prices

    There was a time when global oil prices reflected changes in the real demand and supply of crude petroleum.  Of course, as with many other primary commodities, the changes in the market could be volatile, and so prices also fluctuated, sometimes sharply.  More than anything else, the global oil market was seen to reflect not […]

  • Beyond the Crisis: Markets, Planning, and a Utopian Vision Inspired by the American National Football League

    The Crisis, especially in Europe, is all-consuming.  Every day our minds are hijacked by its latest twist.  Here in Athens, a general strike almost brought the government to its knees and has kick-started a process that will, inevitably, lead to what can only be described as regime change. While history is preparing the next regime […]

  • 7 Things You Need to Know about the National Debt, Deficits, and the Dollar

    Introduction There are seven key points about the national debt, budget and trade deficits, and the dollar, that the public needs to understand in order to be well-informed and prepared to choose among various policy options: 1) The national debt is not literally a generational transfer.  This is easy to see because everyone who holds […]

  • Macroeconomic Policy Changes Have Helped Brazil Increase Growth, But Much More Is Needed

    From 2004 to 2010, Brazil’s economy grew at an average of 4.2 percent annually, or more than twice as fast as it had grown from 1999-2003; or for that matter, more than twice as fast as its annual growth from 1980-2000.  This was despite the impact of the world recession of 2009, which left Brazil […]

  • The Tea Party Creams Labor

      To Tea Partiers and supporters of the Far Right, Madison, Wisconsin has become the latest “Shining City Upon a Hill,” where one of their courageous leaders, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, is waging a heroic battle to tame big government and balance the state’s budget.  American Exceptionalism has always defined liberty as keeping government off […]

  • Current PEs Make Risk-Free Rate of Return on Public Pensions Highly Unlikely

    Debate over public pension funds continues unabated across the nation.  Some have argued that states should assume a risk-free rate of return on pension fund assets, which makes funding shortfalls appear considerably larger.  A new calculator from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) demonstrates that such a low rate of return is extremely […]

  • What Wisconsin Means for Immigrant Rights

    A few weeks can do a lot to sweep away old assumptions.  Last year U.S. leftists were wondering why the worst economic crisis in 70 years hadn’t inspired a stronger response from its victims; now Arabs have toppled neoliberal regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, and U.S. workers have fought cutbacks and union-busting in Wisconsin with […]

  • The Great Recession and Its Aftermath: Causes vs. Symptoms

    There is much confusion about the current economic situation, among left media and organizations as well as in the mainstream media.  This is certainly understandable given its complexity.  But what many are referring to as causes are symptoms of a deeper underlying problem — in other words, sparks that produced the Great Recession by igniting […]

  • Distress, Not Success

    On January 15, the New York Times ran an interesting piece on older workers.  According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data cited in the story, the US workforce is a lot older now than it was at the onset of the Great Recession in December 2007.  Total employment of workers under the age of 55 […]

  • Downturn Continues to Lower Union Membership

    The labor market recession continued to exact a toll on union membership, which fell sharply in 2010.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unionized share of the U.S. workforce dropped to 11.9 percent last year from 12.3 percent in 2009.  The private sector unionization rate fell to 6.9 percent in 2010, from 7.2 […]

  • Moral Hazards, Moral Buzzards

      Is it a good idea to let the foreclosures roll on?  A lot more than that, say the banking and mortgage industries, among others.  “Home repo” is critical to economic recovery, they argue.  Stopping foreclosures would cut the legs off a still-wobbly rebound.  In the industry’s view, the fewer foreclosures, the fewer resales; the […]