Killing the Host: Michael Hudson’s Devastating Exposé of the Global Economic Crisis

kthcover

In Killing the Host, economist Michael Hudson exposes how finance, insurance, and real estate (the FIRE sector) have seized control of the global economy at the expense of industrial capitalism and governments. The FIRE sector is responsible for today’s extreme economic polarization (the 1% vs. the 99%) via favored tax status that inflates real estate prices while deflating the “real” economy of labor and production. Hudson shows in vivid detail how the Great 2008 Bailout saved the banks but not the economy, and plunged the U.S., Irish, Latvian and Greek economies into debt deflation and austerity. Killing the Host describes how the phenomenon of debt deflation imposes punishing austerity on the U.S. and European economies, siphoning wealth and income upward to the financial sector while impoverishing the middle class.

Return to Crisis: Things Keep Getting Worse

The virus that spread to stock markets around the world and nearly destroyed the global financial system in 2008 has reemerged with a vengeance sending global equities deep into the red and wiping out more than $5 trillion in market capitalization in less than two weeks. On Tuesday, before the opening bell, major market index futures in the US plunged more than 400 points signaling another violent day of selling ahead. Worries that a slowdown in China will impact global growth pushed Asian and European markets deep into negative territory while US futures indicate that the Dow Jones is headed for its ninth triple-digit day in ten sessions. The deluge of bad news has battered confidence in the Fed and "sent global equities to their worst monthly slump in more than three years". Millions of Mom and Pop investors have sold out already and are headed for the exits.

While the slowdown in China may be the spark for recent volatility, it certainly isn't the cause. There's a growing consensus that the real problem originated in 2008 when the Fed refused to write-down the debts from the insolvent banking system thus creating the conditions for another calamitous financial crisis sometime in the future. And while the Fed's zero rates and titanic doses of liquidity might have helped to ease the symptoms by flooding the system with cash, the underlying issues remain the same. Thus, as the medication has worn off, the virus has reappeared stronger than ever revealing the ineffectiveness of the Fed's remedies and the urgent need for alternate therapies. More

The Moral Hazards of Capitalism

In the worlds of insurance and finance, moral hazard is said to exist when one party to a contract or transaction feels free to take undue risks because another party will bear the costs if things go badly. The classic example is an insurance policy that protects against all loss or damage to property, and thus inclines the policy holder to treat the property carelessly, knowing that the insurer will pay in full for replacement or repair. Avoiding moral hazard is the alleged purpose of deductibles and co-pays. If insurees are on the hook for part of the costs of their risky behavior, the logic goes, they will take fewer risks and not exploit the insurer.

The idea of moral hazard gained public currency when critics of the banking industry used it to explain the financial meltdown of 2008. Deregulation, they said, created a condition of moral hazard that led to irresponsible behavior by all the powerful actors in the system. More

How Wall Street Parasites Have Devoured Their Hosts, Your Retirement Plan and the U.S. Economy

The riveting writer, Michael Hudson, has read our collective minds and the simmering anger in our hearts. Millions of American have long suspected that their inability to get financially ahead is an intentional construct of Wall Street’s central planners. Now Hudson, in an elegant but lethal indictment of the system, confirms that your ongoing struggle to make ends meet is not a reflection of your lack of talent or drive but the only possible outcome of having a blood-sucking financial leech affixed to your body, your retirement plan, and your economic future.

In his new book, “Killing the Host,” Hudson hones an exquisitely gripping journey from Wall Street’s original role as capital allocator to its present-day parasitism that has replaced U.S. capitalism as an entrenched, politically-enforced economic model across America. This book is a must-read for anyone hoping to escape the most corrupt era in American history with a shirt still on his parasite-riddled back. More

Why Do Six Companies Control 90% of the Media?

Screen Shot 2015-08-30 at 4.11.24 PM

Image courtesy of Pay 2 Play.

Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch

vol-22-no-6-cover-435

Atomic Power’s Secret Spills:
Paul Gunter exposes one of the nation’s hidden scandals: the systemic radioactive leaks plaguing America’s nuclear power plants; The Rise of Big Generic: Steve Hendricks on how we got to the $1,200 knock-off prescription; WWII Redux: Peter Lee on the rise of Neo-Fascism from Ukraine to Japan; The Masked Face of American Racism: Ruth Fowler on race mimicry by white women; Sick Behind Bars: Thandisizwe Chimurenga provides a grim assessment of the pitiful state of medical care inside US Prisons. PLUS: Kristin Kolb on the Great Northwest in flames; Chris Floyd on the radical economics of Pope Francis; Mike Whitney on how the Fed wrecked the recovery; JoAnn Wypijewski takes a drive across the blood-stained Great Plains; Jeffrey St. Clair on the once and future ruins of the American Southwest; Lee Ballinger the lethal legacy of Big Oil; and film-maker Ed Leer on the cinema of mass-shootings.

This Week on CounterPunch Radio
Margaret Kimberley & Sukant Chandan

cpradio-podcast

  • HOST: Eric Draitser
  • GUEST: Margaret Kimberley & Sukant Chandan
  • TOPICS: #BlackLivesMatter, Bernie Sanders, Imperialism in Africa and Asia + Much More!