Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Support Our Annual Fund Drive! CounterPunch is entirely supported by our readers. Your donations pay for our small staff, tiny office, writers, designers, techies, bandwidth and servers. We don’t owe anything to advertisers, foundations, one-percenters or political parties. You are our only safety net. Please make a tax-deductible donation today.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The Debt Looters

by GREG MOSES

It wasn’t the housing bubble exactly.  It was more the way the bubble was blown.

In the official language of the International Monetary Fund report for April 2009, “the crisis was largely caused by weak risk management in large institutions at the core of the global financial system combined with failures in financial regulation and supervision.”

After “the crisis” was caused, the weak risk managers along with their failed regulators and supervisors came back to loot the national debt.
In essence, the mortgage of the American Worker has been preyed upon to inflate the wealth and power of financiers.  Twice.

From the IMF point of view, more debt looting or “fiscal adjustment” will be necessary to keep the world economy from worse channels of trouble.  And so long as the money makes genuine entry into the credit system at lenient rates (if not terms), then it seems like sensible advice.  I believe the IMF when it claims that worse trouble is possible.

Says the IMF: “Key transmission routes [of worse trouble] include deep corrections in national housing markets, especially but not exclusively in advanced economies; corporate stress, especially but not exclusively in emerging economies; deflation risks, mainly in advanced economies; and increasing vulnerabilities in public sector balance sheets, especially but not only in emerging economies.”

Sure as sewage runs downhill, downside risks remain.

And yet, behaving like crash victims who climb from wrecks and run around for awhile, whole classes of boosters may be seen doing double flips of joy because they think they feel the world bouncing off its bottom.

There are many gloomy charts in the IMF report on the global economy, but the one that chills me most shows how each economic region of the globe is expected to contribute to the world recovery that  (we hope) will begin later this year.

When it comes to the crucial turning point for that recovery, the US is the only portion of the global economy that completely disappears from the bar graph.  The US will make zero contribution to global growth in the 4th quarter of 2009, then a bit of a negative contribution in the 1st quarter of 2010, before slacking to zero again in the 2nd quarter of 2010.

As for “other advanced countries,” you will find them colored in dark blue below the line of recovery, indicating that they will be worse than no help.  Above the line of positive Purchasing Power Parity, all the heaving lifting at the beginning of the second decade of the 21st Century will be upon the shoulders of China and the “rest of the world.”

This, my friends, is how you win a cold war without knowing the least reason why.

Along with my favorite storm watcher these days, Larry Kudlow, I also have faith that democracy and capital will figure out how to keep each other alive through this deluge, but I disagree with his forecast model.
For the past several decades capital has taken advantage of weakened democracy in the US.  It is now time for democracy to return the favor.  As US capital returns from subzero on the IMF recovery scale, democracy has to insist on new parameters.

If the Chinese can lead global growth in 2010, what happens to the claim that big governments must be incapable?

Therefore, health care coverage for all people, cap and trade for all creatures, a path to citizenship for every neighbor in the neighborhood, and a genuine national youth program, all of these things will elevate the US to a place we should have been 30 years ago.

When we voted for change last November we weren’t talking about pennies on the dollar.  Bankers of the world, untie!

GREG MOSES is editor of TexasWorker.org.  He can be reached at gmosesx@gmail.com.

 

Greg Moses writes about peace and Texas, but not always at the same time. He is author of Revolution of Conscience: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Philosophy of Nonviolence. As editor of the Texas Civil Rights Review he has written about racism faced by Black agriculturalists in Texas. He can be reached at gmosesx@gmail.com

More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

September 29, 2016
Robert Fisk
The Butcher of Qana: Shimon Peres Was No Peacemaker
James Rose
Politics in the Echo Chamber: How Trump Becomes President
Russell Mokhiber
The Corporate Vice Grip on the Presidential Debates
Daniel Kato
Rethinking the Race over Race: What Clinton Should do Now About ‘Super-Predators’
Peter Certo
Clinton’s Awkward Stumbles on Trade
Fran Shor
Demonizing the Green Party Vote
Rev. William Alberts
Trump’s Road Rage to the White House
Luke O'Brien
Because We Couldn’t Have Sanders, You’ll Get Trump
Michael J. Sainato
How the Payday Loan Industry is Obstructing Reform
Robert Fantina
You Can’t Have War Without Racism
Gregory Barrett
Bad Theater at the United Nations (Starring Kerry, Power, and Obama
James A Haught
The Long, Long Journey to Female Equality
Thomas Knapp
US Military Aid: Thai-ed to Torture
Jack Smith
Must They be Enemies? Russia, Putin and the US
Gilbert Mercier
Clinton vs Trump: Lesser of Two Evils or the Devil You Know
Tom H. Hastings
Manifesting the Worst Old Norms
George Ella Lyon
This Just in From Rancho Politico
September 28, 2016
Eric Draitser
Stop Trump! Stop Clinton!! Stop the Madness (and Let Me Get Off)!
Ted Rall
The Thrilla at Hofstra: How Trump Won the Debate
Robert Fisk
Cliché and Banality at the Debates: Trump and Clinton on the Middle East
Patrick Cockburn
Cracks in the Kingdom: Saudi Arabia Rocked by Financial Strains
Lowell Flanders
Donald Trump, Islamophobia and Immigrants
Shane Burley
Defining the Alt Right and the New American Fascism
Jan Oberg
Ukraine as the Border of NATO Expansion
Ramzy Baroud
Ban Ki-Moon’s Legacy in Palestine: Failure in Words and Deeds
Gareth Porter
How We Could End the Permanent War State
Sam Husseini
Debate Night’s Biggest Lie Was Told by Lester Holt
Laura Carlsen
Ayotzinapa’s Message to the World: Organize!
Binoy Kampmark
The Triumph of Momentum: Re-Electing Jeremy Corbyn
David Macaray
When the Saints Go Marching In
Seth Oelbaum
All Black Lives Will Never Matter for Clinton and Trump
Adam Parsons
Standing in Solidarity for a Humanity Without Borders
Cesar Chelala
The Trump Bubble
September 27, 2016
Louisa Willcox
The Tribal Fight for Nature: From the Grizzly to the Black Snake of the Dakota Pipeline
Paul Street
The Roots are in the System: Charlotte and Beyond
Jeffrey St. Clair
Idiot Winds at Hofstra: Notes on the Not-So-Great Debate
Mark Harris
Clinton, Trump, and the Death of Idealism
Mike Whitney
Putin Ups the Ante: Ceasefire Sabotage Triggers Major Offensive in Aleppo
Anthony DiMaggio
The Debates as Democratic Façade: Voter “Rationality” in American Elections
Binoy Kampmark
Punishing the Punished: the Torments of Chelsea Manning
Paul Buhle
Why “Snowden” is Important (or How Kafka Foresaw the Juggernaut State)
Jack Rasmus
Hillary’s Ghosts
Brian Cloughley
Billions Down the Afghan Drain
Lawrence Davidson
True Believers and the U.S. Election
Matt Peppe
Taking a Knee: Resisting Enforced Patriotism
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail
[i]
[i]
[i]
[i]