Exclusively in the new print issue of CounterPunch
ANATOMY OF TORTURE — Historian Christopher Dietrich on the 100-year-long history of American torture; Jeffrey St. Clair on the implications of giving impunity to the CIA’s torturers; Chris Floyd on how the US has exported torture to its client states around the world. David Macaray on the Paradoxes of Police Unions; Louis Proyect on Slave Rebellions in the Open Seas; Paul Krassner on the Perils of Political Cartooning; Martha Rosenberg on the dangers of Livestock Shot-up with Antibiotics; and Lee Ballinger on Elvis, Race and the Poor South. Plus: Mike Whitney on Greece and the Eurozone and JoAnn Wypijewski on Media Lies that Killed.
Archives by Tag 'debt'
Europe’s Deadly Transition From Social Democracy to Oligarchy
MICHAEL HUDSON
The easiest way to understand Europe’s financial crisis is to look at the solutions being proposed to resolve it. They are a banker’s dream, a grab bag of giveaways that few voters would be likely to approve in a democratic referendum. Bank strategists learned not to ...
There Will Be Blood
MARSHALL AUERBACK
Another week to go before the euro blows up, or so we’re told again for the thousandth time. More likely is that the ECB does barely enough to keep the show on the road, fiscal austerity continues and riots intensify on the streets of Madrid, Athens, Rome and Paris.  L...
Debt Slavery – Why It Destroyed Rome, Why It Will Destroy Us Unless It’s Stopped
MICHAEL HUDSON
Book V of Aristotle’s Politics describes the eternal transition of oligarchies making themselves into hereditary aristocracies – which end up being overthrown by tyrants or develop internal rivalries as some families decide to “take the multitude into their...
One Bank to Rule Them All
MIKE WHITNEY
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve and the central banks of Canada, England, Japan, Switzerland, and Europe launched a coordinated monetary intervention aimed at easing interbank lending in the eurozone. While the emergency action sent stocks into the stratosphere, it did ...
A Self-Inflicted Recession Threatens World Economy
MARK WEISBROT
The economic news out of the eurozone is getting worse every day, and so is the contagion to the rest of the world. The OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), the club of 34 mostly high-income countries, has now lowered its projection for eurozone ...
An Irreversible Slide?
MIKE WHITNEY
“In every crisis there’s a point of no return….I’m increasingly convinced we’ve already passed that point of no return in Europe. The banks won’t lend to each other, the Germans won’t do Eurobonds, and the ECB won’t act as a lender of l...
Sucker Punched By Speculation
ALAN FARAGO
This terrible idea will not die: that the only way to revive the US economy is to reduce mortgages on homes and property purchased at speculative values. The fact that so many homeowners (like me) did not buy more house than they could afford, did not buy into the specula...
De-Fault Is Ours
STEVE FRASER
In 1729, when Ireland had fallen into a state of utter destitution at the hands of its British landlords, Jonathan Swift published a ...
Just Another Goldman Sachs Take Over
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
On November 25, two days after a failed German government bond auction in which Germany was unable to sell 35 per cent of its offerings of 10-year bonds, the German finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble said that Germany might retreat from its demands that the private bank...
Germany’s “Failed” Bond Auction
MIKE WHITNEY
“We are caught, it seems, in one of those self-reinforcing loops that almost always presage a collapse.” — Michael Pettis, China Financial Markets Germany’s “failed” bund auction on Wednesday was a...
Student Loan Fury in the Occupy Movement
BRIAN McKENNA
Young people in the U.S. now recognize that the university has become part of a ponzi scheme designed to place on students an unconscionable amount of debt while subjecting them under the power of commanding financial institutions for years after they grad...
Misanthropy’s Holiday
KATHLEEN PEINE
It’s not exactly “The Gift of the Magi” -the inevitable Black Friday footage that so marvelously serves to reinforce the notion that Americans are simply a cloudy plague of consumer beasts. And in most ways that really is what the country has become. Feeding on ...
Past the Point of No Return
MIKE WHITNEY
“Eurozone banks’ demand for European Central Bank funding surged to a two-year high on Tuesday, as fast spreading sovereign debt worries left lending markets virtually frozen and  the ECB the only available funding option for many institutions....
This Stupid Democracy Thing
PETER LEE
It’s finally become clear to everyone the key problem in the current Eurozone crisis is just too much democracy. Pesky voters opposed to austerity measures get in the way of efforts to cut government expenditures in order to reduce deficits and make repayment of ...
Cheers as Gain-through-Pain Crowd Take Aim at Italy
MARSHALL AUERBACK
The markets are again in free-fall and, once again, a lazy Mediterranean profligate is to blame.  This time, it’s an Italian, rather than a Greek.  No, not Silvio Berlusconi, but his fellow countryman, Mario Draghi, the new head of the increasingly spineless European ...
Economic Mismanagement in Europe
MARK WEISBROT
Some of us have been warning for months about the cri...
Bankers Crush Greek Democracy
DEAN BAKER
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou touched off a firestorm last week when he proposed putting the austerity package designed by the “troika” (the I.M.F, the European Central Bank and the European Union) up for a popular vote. The idea that the Greek people might d...
Ten Million Families Sliding Toward Foreclosure
SHERWOOD ROSS
Of the 55-million families with mortgages, 10.4-million of them “are sliding toward failure and foreclosure”—a tragedy that will depress the U.S. housing market for years to come, a result of too many houses for sale and too few buyers. ...
How Capitalism Flopped
DEEPAK TRIPATHI
In the struggle against global laissez faire capitalism that has brought the current economic collapse, protesters won an important victory last week in Britain, while stalemate continued in Greece. The alliance between the church, the main financial district called the C...
Is Super Mario Printing Already?
MIKE WHITNEY
“Italy’s borrowing costs have spiked higher towards levels that forced Greece, Ireland and Portugal to be bailed out. The yield on Italy’s ten-year bond is up another 0.32 percentage point at 6.43 percent, a new euro-era high. A yield above 7...
Egypt and the IMF
ERIC WALBERG
The Popular Campaign to Drop Egypt’s Debts was launched at the Journalists’ Union 31 October, with a colourful panel of speakers, including Al-Ahram Centre for Political & Strategic Studies Editor-in-Chief Ahmed Al-Naggar, Independent Trade Union head Kamal Abbas,...
Let’s Bail Out Ourselves!
DOUG NOBLE
“It’s not that we don’t have demands… We speak them with our struggle. Our movement is made up of people fighting for jobs, for schools, for debt relief, equitable housing, and healthcare… We are  … democratic, fierce, and unwaveri...
Casino Capitalism and Higher Education
HENRY GIROUX
The state of uncertainty…is a joint product of ignorance and impotence—the two dragons which the Enlightenment heirs of St. George promised , resolved and tried hard to kill, or at least to chase away from the...
Desperate Students
Rev. JESSE L. JACKSON
The sign at the Occupy Wall Street demonstration revealed the struggles of America’s young: “A B.A., $30,000 in student debt and no job.” Young people are graduating from college into the worst jobs market since the 1930s while carrying record levels of student debt...
No Party For Europe
DEAN BAKER
Jean Claude Trichet will be retiring as head of the European Central Bank at the end of the month. He will step into retirement having wreaked the sort of destruction on the European economy that hostile powers can only dream about. Tens of millions of people across the e...
Fury Mounts Among Greek People
PATRICK COCKBURN
Athens Greece last week  was paralysed by a 48-hour general strike that began Wednesday and cast doubt on the unpopular government’s ability to implement reforms demanded by the European Union in return for further bailout money. Black-maske...
The Myth of Greek Profligacy
MARSHALL AUERBACK
Historically, Greeks are very good at constructing myths.  The rest of the world?  Not so much.  Reading the press, one gets the impression of a bunch of lazy Mediterranean scroungers, enjoying one of the highest standards of living in Europe while making the frugal Ge...
This is Your (Occupied) Land
REBECCA SOLNIT
Dear young man who died on the fourth day of this turbulent 2011, dear Mohammed Bouazizi, I want to write you about an astonishing year — with three months yet to run. I want to tell you about the power of despair and the margins of hope and the bonds of civi...
How Greeks Were Driven Back to the Land
PATRICK COCKBURN
Naxos “People are coming back to farms around here that they abandoned years ago so they can grow potatoes, cabbages and vegetables to help them survive the crisis,” says Petros Citouzouris, as he pruned his vines high in the mountains of Naxos...
A Coup in the European Union?
SUSAN GEORGE
European Union workers’ pretentions to better pay and working conditions, shorter working lives, munificent retirement benefits, long holidays and time off for this and that have got to be brought under control!  Enough is enough! Let ...
Is Merkel Right on Greece?
MARSHALL AUERBACK
The doom mongers are out in force.  The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has dramatically stated that European authorities have “just a matter of weeks” to avert economic disaster.  Likewise, the mouthpiece of conventional financial “wisdom”, the Financial...
The European Debt Crisis Myth
MIKE WHITNEY
 No one opposes unity. And no one opposes a stronger, more unified Europe. What people oppose is policy; policies that slash workers wages, privatize state assets, increase unemployment, and prolong recession. That’s what people oppo...
Poverty Swallows America
ANDY KROLL
Food pantries picked over. Incomes drying up. Shelters burst...
Are Trade Deficits Really That Bad?
MARSHALL AUERBACK
In a recent piece in The Nation Thomas Geoghegan argues fiercely that few points were made more emphatically by John Maynard Keynes than his opinion  that: “no country, ever, should run up any kind of trade deficit, much less the trade deficit on steroids we a...
Europe Blinking Red
MIKE WHITNEY
German parliamentarians reaffirmed their commitment to the Euro-project on Thursday by approving an expansion of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). The balloting provided the landslide victory (523 to 85) that German Chancellor Angela Merkel needed to reest...
The Real Crisis in the Eurozone
MARK WEISBROT
Three months ago I wrote ...
Can China Save the World Economy?
DEAN BAKER
That is a question that people should be asking as the other potential candidates withdraw from the race. At the moment, the economies of the United States, Europe, and Japan are all suffering from weak growth or worse. The debt crisis of eurozone countries threatens anot...
Greek Tragedy
NICK DEARDEN
Everyday the same news – Greece lurches nearer to a default, the financial markets panic, and governments come up with a few more euros or some soothing words to calm them for a few hours. The meltdown has been put off for another day. Almost every commentato...
The Great Greek Bond Bazaar
Éric Toussaint
In July-September 2011 the stock markets were again shaken at international level. The crisis has become deeper in the EU, particularly with respect to debts. The CADTM  interviewed Eric Toussaint about various facets of this new ...
Welcome to the Post-Modern Gilded Age
DAVID ROSEN
One word dominates political discourse in America today: Jobs!  It was the centerpiece of recent the debate between Republican presidential contenders and the Democratic president’s speech to the nation. The official unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent; whe...
Hooked on Debt
MARTINE BULARD
China’s leaders, even in their wildest nationalist dreams, could not have imagined a more spectacular reversal of history than that the US should be chastened and no longer top of the (capitalist) class, appealing to China to bail it out and boost world growth. T...
The State and Local Budget Crisis
MICHAEL HUDSON
The cost of the 2011 cutbacks in federal spending will fall most directly on consumers and retirees by scaling back Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and social spending programs. The population also will suffer indirectly, by lower federal revenue sharing with U.S. sta...
The S&P Downgrade
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
On Friday, August 5,  the credit rating agency, Standard & Poors, downgraded US debt from AAA to AA+. Gerald Celente’s view that S&P’s downgrade of the US Treasury’s credit rating reflects a loss of confidence in the political system was confirmed by...
Throwing America Overboard
RALPH NADER
The Boston Tea Party in December 1773 threw the East India Company’s tea overboard. The Republican Tea Party in August 2011 threw America overboard. Only in Congress, with its rules for minority rule, can a minority of the Republican Party in the House of Rep...
Robbing the Poor to Pay the Rich
CHARLES R. LARSON
Last Thursday when the market crashed, the volume on the New York Stock Exchange was 7.5 billion shares, obviously much higher than usual. The Nasdaq volume was also unusually high. If we could levy a fee of one penny for each share bought and sold in the United States, t...
The S&P’s Coup
MARSHALL AUERBACK
So the ratings agencies have reared their ugly heads again.  David Beers, head of S&P’s government debt rating unit, announced Friday night that S&P has downgraded the U.S. credit rating for the first time, from AAA to AA. It’s a sham:  S&P’s whole ana...
The Debt Cantata
DAVID YEARSLEY
That debt and sin are synonymous in Christian thought and liturgy might help explain the righteousness of Tea Party discourse, as well as the genuflections of Obama and his acolytes. It’s true that the Sojourners and other progressive Christian groups have attack...
Manufacturing a Double-Dip
DAVE LINDORFF
The chief economist at ratings agency Moodys is warning that the U.S. could be headed for a renewed recession. Calling the current situation “very perilous,” John Lonski adds that the politicians in Washington, where both parties are vying to present bu...
If Congress Fails to Meet the Debt Deadline …
Brian F. Foley
If Congress doesn’t reach a deal to extend our debt ceiling, the economy might collapse, and We the People will become We the Paupers. As the author of a new “financial advice” book, I investigate below whether some time-tested money tips might still app...
Suicide Watch
Jack Random
As grains of sand drip one by one through the hour glass, marking time as we move toward the debt ceiling deadline, the political posturing takes on the appearance of a game of chicken or Russian Roulette. The comparisons are apt but as time slips on and the postur...