This Week on CounterPunch Radio
In this day and age, 'dissent' means little more than feeding mostly vetted, crowd-pleasing opinions into some online algorithm that will yield better results for a pharmaceutical giant or a law enforcement agency. We can say all kinds of shit to a highly selective, built-in audience of multiple selves, and feel good about exercising our right to free speech - in the meantime forgetting that all this 'activism' is just more content to be harvested like organs for marketing and surveillance purposes. More
The character of the current crisis is very different now from what it was in 2008. You mentioned, for instance, that real estate prices now age exceed their early 2008 levels. All that's true, but as you just pointed out, 10,000,000 people have already lost their homes.
That's what economists call housing moving from weak hands into strong, and they applaud that because instead of poor families, minorities, African-Americans and Hispanics buying homes that are way beyond their ability to pay the mortgage on, these houses have already been lost or foreclosed and Blackstone and other hedge funds bought them. They bought them for all cash.
The reason they did that instead of debt leveraging, which is how people had been buying their houses in World War II, is that interest rates are so low. The Fed was plunging at zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) in order to try to re-inflate a bubble. But with these low interest rates, Blackstone and other hedge funds, Wall Street, could make more money renting out these properties than they could by actually selling them or speculating, or that they could make in the bond market. More
After two days lecturing a collection of head-choppers, dictators, torturers and land thieves, Donald Trump at last met a good guy on Wednesday. Pope Francis didn’t ask for a $100bn (£77.2bn) arms deal for the Vatican. He wouldn’t go to war with Iran. He didn’t take the Sunni Muslim side against the Shia Muslim side in the next Middle East conflict. He didn’t talk about Palestinian “terror”. And he looked, most of the time, grim, unsmiling, even suspicious. More
Exclusively in the New Print Issue of CounterPunch
In this issue: Dan Glazebrook explains why Trump’s alliance with Russia may increase the odds of a war on Iran. The End of Diplomacy? Former CIA analyst Mel Goodman provides a field guide to Trump’s cabinet. Fukushima, Still Melting: John LaForge on the 6-year long crisis at the ruined Fukushima nuclear site; Refugees vs. Climate Change: Ben Debney on real and manufactured crises. The New Latin American Feminism by Laura Carlsen. The ICEmen Cometh by Jeffrey St. Clair. Organizing on the Border by Kent Paterson. Inside Steve Bannon’s Brain by Chris Floyd. What Does the Left Want? by Yvette Carnell. Catalonia Rising by Daniel Raventos and Julie Wark. Who Profits From Rate-Tweaking? by Mike Whitney. From Sea to Dying Sea by Lee Ballinger. Breakdown at the Oscars by Ed Leer.