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FATTENING WALL STREET — Mike Whitney reports on the rapid metamorphosis of new Fed Chair Janet Yallin into a lackey for the bankers, bond traders and brokers. The New Religious Wars Over the Environment: Joyce Nelson charts the looming confrontation between the Catholic Church and fundamentalists over climate change, extinction and GMOs; A People’s History of Mexican Constitutions: Andrew Smolski on the 200 year-long struggle of Mexico’s peasants, indigenous people and workers to secure legal rights and liberties; Spying on Black Writers: Ron Jacobs uncovers the FBI’s 50 year-long obsession with black poets, novelists and essayists; O Elephant! JoAnn Wypijewski on the grim history of circus elephants; PLUS: Jeffrey St. Clair on birds and climate change; Chris Floyd on the US as nuclear bully; Seth Sandronsky on Van Jones’s blind spot; Lee Ballinger on musicians and the State Department; and Kim Nicolini on the films of JC Chandor.
Archives by Tag 'European Central Bank'
The US and the Euro Crisis
MARK WEISBROT
The eurozone recession is now the longest on record for the single currency area, according to official statistics released last week, as the economy shrank again in the first quarter of this year. A comparison with the U.S. economy may shed some light on how such a profo...
So Much for the Sanctity of Bank Deposits
SERGE HALIMI
Paris. Everything was becoming impossible. It was impossible to increase taxes because that would discourage “entrepreneurs”. It was impossible to protect a country against commercial dumping by low wage countries, as that would contravene free trade a...
The New Tyros of the Eurozone
DEAN BAKER
The eurozone crisis countries still have not developed a workable strategy for countering the policies being imposed by the troika — the European Central Bank (ECB), the IMF and the European Union. Their main problem is not profligate government spending, as fans of dat...
The Euro is Not in Trouble; the People Are
VINCENT NAVARRO
One of the phrases frequently written in economic circles in the United States (and to a lesser degree in Europe) is “the Euro is going to collapse.” Those who repeat that phrase over and over again do not seem to know how the Euro was established, by whom, and for wh...
The ECB’s Emergency Lending Authority is Keeping Greece Alive
MARSHALL AUERBACK
Greece has moved off center stage, as Spain has become the preoccupation de jour for Europe’s increasingly embattled authorities. But one has to wonder how the Greek banking system has managed to sustain itself over the past several months, given widespread deposit ...
How Far is the ECB Really Prepared to Go to Save the Euro?
MARSHALL AUERBACK
Re-reading Mr Draghi’s market-moving remarks earlier this week, one gains a sense that the European Central Bank chief recognizes that the ECB has a banking run on their hand. Most market participants have understandably focused on Mr Draghi’s pledge that the ...
Understanding Sarkozy
EVAN JONES
Dave Lindorff (‘Red-Baiting Hollande’, CounterPunch, 13 June) bemoans the difficulty of getting decent coverage of France in the US media. The problem is pervasive in the English-language media, for which Continental Europe is a foreign planet. France has long been a ...
The Spreading Crisis
MIKE WHITNEY
 “The Greek economy is truly broken. The circuits of credit are so badly damaged that even efficient, profitable firms have been cut out of the capital markets …. Moreover, the new spending cuts… will give the forces of recession another boo...
Left Threat Terrifies Bankers: Out of the Eurozone, Into Bankruptcy?
PATRICK COCKBURN
Athens As Greeks prepare to vote in the most important election in their history on Sunday, people in Athens fear they are facing a future full of uncertainty, poverty and violence. Well-publicized crimes help create an atmosphere of violence as the wealth...
Greed and the Pain in Spain
CONN HALLINAN
Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz characterizes the Spanish bank bailout as “voodoo economics” that is certain “to fail.” New York Times economic analyst Andrew Ross Sorkin agrees: “By now it should be apparent that the bailout has failed—or at le...
The Spanish Hurricane
ERIC TOUSSAINT
All eyes are turned toward Spain and its banking sector. After Greece, Ireland, and Portugal, we may ask ourselves if the bailout plans are behind us or whether we are simply in the eye of the cyclone? We must remain lucid and recognize that the financial and banking cris...
Economic Karma in Greece?
R. G. DAVIS
If the Greeks with some effort and success will say No to austerity then Syriza and Tsipras might have a good handle on the Banks and the EU. The Banks are necessarily caught in the grip of fright. and their own contradictions — they may have to bail out Greece. If ...
The Bailout of Spain
MIKE WHITNEY
“The burden of recapitalizing insolvent banks or loss-making acquisitions of solvent banks will fall on Spanish citizens.” — Karl Whelan, economist at University College, Dublin. Before EU finance ministers approve ...
Europe Moves Closer to Banktatorship
MIKE WHITNEY
Yields on 10-year Treasuries plunged to a record-low 1.56 percent on Thursday morning as panicky investors stormed out of European financial assets into German and U.S. government bonds.  Deteriorating credit conditions, a flurry of ratings downgrades, and bank runs ...
Another One Bites the Dust
MARSHALL AUERBACK
It might seem strange to invoke Freddie Mercury and Queen in the context of the eurozone, but it’s the first thought that springs to mind, as Brussels and the increasingly hapless ECB, continue to mismanage their way to financial and economic catastrophe. Yesterday, the...
The Age of Competing Nationalities
PATRICK COCKBURN
The crises in Europe and the Middle East are very different but they are beginning to cross-infect each other, creating a general mood of uncertainty and fear. In the Middle East, the Arab Spring was at first seen as wholly positive, as dictatorships and police states tum...
The Plan to Kick Greece Out of the Eurozone
MIKE WHITNEY
“Men and women of Greece, it is with a sense of dignity and patriotic duty, that we made the decision not to betray your hopes and aspirations…The pro-bailout parties did not simply want us to support a government that would impose more austerity, ...
The Meaning of “Austerity Measures”
MIKE WHITNEY
The eurozone is slipping into a recession that could have been avoided. Had policymakers provided fiscal support for stricken countries in the South and guarantees on their government bonds, (as the USG does for US Treasuries) then their economies could have continued t...
No Exit in EU
JEFFREY SOMMERS
Peter Praet, Chief Economist of the European Central Bank, defended the ECB’s policies at Levy Institute’s annual Minsky meeting at the Ford Foundation this past week in New York that. In his remarks, he retreaded the EU’s wheels with the same rhetoric of inflation ...
Spain Marches Toward a Depression
MIKE WHITNEY
“Other countries have gone through similar experiences. Latin American countries suffered a lost decade after 1982, and Japan has been stagnating for a quarter of a century; both have survived. But the European Union is not a country and it is unlikely to su...
Europe’s Economic Maginot Line
DEAN BAKER
In the build-up to World War II, the French military created the Maginot Line. This barrier, which utilized state of the art military defenses, was intended to defend France from a ferocious assault by Hitler’s armies. When the attack ultimately came, the Germans made q...
The Future of Greece May Not be as Bad as It Looks
PATRICK COCKBURN
Maria Svoronou has three jobs and was finishing a twelve hour day as euro zone leaders were finalizing Greece’s rescue package in Brussels. For all her hard work, she earns only Eur 870 a month and says that “if the situation gets any worse, I won’t be able to survi...
The Humiliation of Greece
MIKE WHITNEY
“How can one speak of default in the future tense when we’re already bankrupt… Don’t you see the people scouring through garbage and sleeping on sidewalks? Those who led us to bankruptcy – the troika and the government – now cla...
Greece and Those Wild & Crazy Guys at the ECB
DEAN BAKER
I have been following the European sovereign debt crisis since it first developed more than two years ago. It was evident from the beginning that the conditions on the debtor nations being demanded by the “troika” of the European Central Bank, the European Union, and ...
Greece Throws in the Towel, Bows to German Jackboot
PATRICK COCKBURN
Greeks expect to agree a deal with the Eurozone leaders today, Monday, that will cede much of their country’s independence. Greece will become an economic – and to a large extent a political – colony of Germany and its allies. Berlin will have a say in everythin...
A Death Sentence for Greece
MIKE WHITNEY
“We are facing destruction. Our country, our home, has become ripe for burning. The centre of Athens is in flames.” – Costis Hatzidakis, conservative parliamentarian ...
The Troika Blackmails Greece
MIKE WHITNEY
“We are being asked to take even larger doses of a medicine that has proven to be deadly and to undertake commitments that do not solve the problem, but only temporarily postpone the foretold death of our economy.” — Hieronymos II, hea...
Draghi’s 489 Billion Euro Fakery
MIKE WHITNEY
ECB president Mario Draghi’s new lending facility–the Long-Term Refinancing Operation–has helped to pull the financial system back from the brink of another Lehman-type catastrophe, but it doesn’t address the fundamental problems that created the c...
The Eurozone’s Looming Credit Crunch
MIKE WHITNEY
While EU policymakers make arrangements for their 14th summit in the last two years, Europe’s flagging economy continues to slip deeper into recession. On Monday, the Eurozone’s Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) reported that production and ...
Failure to Reflate
MIKE WHITNEY
For the second time in three years, the banking system has collapsed, which means that the banks are no longer able to fund themselves through the normal means, the wholesale markets. This same thing happened in July 2007 when two Bear Stearns hedge funds defaulted and tr...
The $600 Billion Ripoff
MIKE WHITNEY
European Central Bank president Mario Draghi is either a liar or a fool.  Either way, he should be canned immediately before he dumps more money into an EU banking system sinkhole. What’s all the fuss about? Here’s a clip from Bloomberg that explains...
Draghi’s Real Goal in the Eurozone
MIKE WHITNEY
Imagine if your banker offered to lend you a $150,000 to make up for the money that you’d lost on your home since the housing bubble burst in 2006. And, let’s say, he agreed to lend you this money for 3 years at rock-bottom rates of 1 percent provided that you...
The ECB’s High Wire Act
DEAN BAKER
At this point the sovereign debt crisis in Europe is almost getting boring. We’ve seen the same script played out over and over with country after country. The basic story is the markets begin a run on the debt of a country: Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain etc. The...
Greece in Chaos
NOËLLE BURGI
“Who knows what tomorrow will bring?” people ask in Athens, Salonika and right across Greece. There’s a sense of collective imprisonment, individual uncertainty and impending catastrophe. Yet Greece has had a turbulent history, and the Greeks have always...
Why Euro Plan Is Doomed to Fail
GABRIEL KOLKO
There are extremely important differences between this decade and the period after the First World War and through the early 1930s. The most crucial is that no fascist or Communist or revolutionary threats exist now if the great economic powers do not meet the econ...
The Colossal Muddle
MIKE WHITNEY
“Today we have involved ourselves in a colossal muddle, having blundered in the control of a delicate machine, the working of which we do not understand. The result is that our possibilities of wealth may run to waste for a time—perhaps for a long time...
Freezing Out Britain
BINOY KAMPMARK
There is much more in the way of European chatter taking place in that troubled part of the world.  Discussions held at the Brussels summit on Friday saw the 27 countries of the EU attempting to forge an agreement in an effort to create what would effectively amount to a...
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 ...
Another Summit Fiasco
MIKE WHITNEY
When the book is finally closed on this week’s EU summit, it’ll be interesting to see what people remember the most. Will it be the proposed changes to the Lisbon Treaty, the new steps towards fiscal integration or the disgraceful behavior of David Cameron?...
“Fiscal Union” Merkel-Style
MIKE WHITNEY
Angela Merkel has a cure for the eurozone’s pesky debt crisis. Hair shirts and stiffer penalties. Aside from that, the German Chancellor has very little to offer by way of a remedy. In fact–what was so surprising about Monday’s widely-anticipated press c...
Austerity for Europe
MARK WEISBROT
The house is on fire and the owners are arguing about what kind of safety regulations should be implemented in the future so as to prevent these types of fires.  That is what appears to be going on in the eurozone right now, as European leaders try to reach agreement on ...
Wrecking the World Economy
DEAN BAKER
The world is eagerly waiting to see if the European Central Bank (ECB) will take the steps needed to save the euro. Specifically, is the ECB prepared to act as a central bank and guarantee the sovereign debt of the countries in the eurozone as the lender of last resort or...
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...
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 ...
The One Percent Solution in Europe
SAUL LANDAU
Last month a Super Committee (12Members of Congress) failed to decide — fortunately — our economic destiny: where our tax money would go – or not. Yes, capitalism failed again. And with it went democratic procedures in the political arena. Big Facts: ...
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...
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...
The European Bank’s Ideological Zealots
DEAN BAKER
The European Central Bank (ECB) has been working hard to convince the world that it is not competent to act as central bank. One of the main responsibilities of a central bank is to act as the lender of last resort in a crisis. The ECB is insisting that it will not fill t...
The Roads To War And Economic Collapse
PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS
November 23, 2011: The day before the Thanksgiving holiday brought three extraordinary news items.  One was the report on the Republican presidential campaign debate. One was the Russian President’s statement about his country’s response to Washington’s mi...