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Alternative Visions – ‘Behind the Presidential Debates—What They Reveal for 2017’ – 10.21.16

Jack steps back and discusses the three presidential debates in a broader context, focusing on what the debates reveal about what is coming in 2017: i.e. more aggressive US foreign policy action in Syria, against Russia, and in Southeast Asia (Philippines) soon after the election. More attacks on civil liberties by US political elites to silence alternative perspectives like Wikileaks and other media. More internecine conflict within the elite ranks of the two main political parties as they deal with rising popular rebellion against the ‘political class’, on both left and right. Republican and Democrat party elites ‘shoring up’ their rules to avoid Sanders-Trump type internal challenges re-occurring in 2020 and elite efforts to more tightly control their primary nomination processes and conventions. A growth of independent political parties as ‘rebellion against the political class’ moves outside the two party structure. Rising rent, healthcare, and inflation, and continuing wage stagnation for the bottom 90% of the workforce as US recession returns in late 2017. Growing disaffection of the millennials from the political system. (Next week: interview of Jill Stein of the Green Party and Gary Johnson of Libertarians).

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Alternative Visions – Presidential Debates & the US-Russia-Syria Conflict – 10.14.16

Jack provides a brief overview of important developments in the global economy this past week, focusing on China. Renewed financial bubbles in real estate and rapidly slowing China exports that reflect a slowing global economy are discussed, as is the Asia region economy in general. The ‘canary in the Asian economy goldmine’, Singapore, recorded a -4.1% GDP contraction, as shipping sector indicators reveal a global economy and trade continuing to stagnate. Most of the show then focuses on the 2nd presidential debate of last week. Special attention is given to the comments by Clinton on the Russians—i.e. the declaration of alleged hacking of the Democratic party; the assertion that Russia is behind the recent Wikileaks revelations about Hillary’s ‘dual’ strategy (of saying one thing in closed meetings to business and bankers while another, sometimes opposite, to the general populace in her campaign); and her explicit statement in the debate the US should impose ‘no fly zones’ and commit US special forces to the conflict in Syria. Is the US sliding toward a direct confrontation with Russia in Syria? Does Hillary’s position represent the US war hawks’ re. Syria? Reading between the lines, the 2nd presidential debate appears to suggest so.

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Alternative Visions – Why the FED Will Soon Raise Rates And What Happens When It Does – 10.07.16

Dr. Rasmus explains why a Federal Reserve interest rate hike is coming very soon. Why central bank monetary policies in US, Europe and Japan have failed miserably to generate real economic growth since 2010, but were always focused on boosting stock, bond and other financial markets. Now, however, they no longer even stimulate financial assets but are increasingly causing financial instability in pension funds, insurance annuities, bank margins, retirees’ consumption, and will therefore soon be shelved. Anticipating the shift, central banks in Europe and Japan are adjusting their monetary policies in turn. The likely negative consequences of the US Fed rate shift globally are discussed. A new shift to fiscal infrastructure spending, business tax cuts, and abandonment of austerity fiscal policies are now on the agenda following the US election and in 2017 in Europe and beyond. The show concludes with analysis of the 1st presidential debate and why Trump, despite a disastrous debate performance may still win critical ‘swing states’ in November.

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Alternative Visions – Deutsche Bank & the Deepening Euro Bank Crisis – 09.30.16

Dr. Jack Rasmus reviews recent developments in the growing instability in Germany’s largest bank, Deutsche Bank, and explains how it is a reflection of a deeper, ongoing crisis in the Euro banking system itself. Parallels of Deutsche Bank—the ‘Goldman-Sachs’ of Germany—with the 2008 crash of US Lehman Brothers investment bank are discussed, with Rasmus predicting the German central bank, Bundesbank, will eventually bail out Deutsche—unlike the US decision in 2008 to let Lehman go under. Also addressed: how Rasmus’ theoretical work published earlier this year, ‘Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy’, predicted the growing crisis in the Euro banking system, which is now expanding beyond Italy’s banks to Germany and beyond. How the Deutsche crisis is exacerbating in-fighting between the Bundesbank and the European Central Bank, the ECB, and attacks on ECB chair, Mario Draghi. The Deutsche-Euro bank crisis is a reflection of the growing awareness of the failure of the ECB and other central banks’ QE and negative rates policies—including the US Federal Reserve—to stimulate the real economy and only boost stock and other financial markets. Jack explains how the Deutsche affair is also a reflection of the failed structure of the Eurozone currency union itself. The show concludes with brief comments on Saudi Arabia/OPEC’s recent decision to cut oil supplies to raise global prices, how Japan is considering redefining its GDP in order to raise growth on paper, and on the phony debate on taxes during the recent 1st presidential debates this past week between Clinton and Trump. (For more on Jack’s analysis of the 1stpresidential debate, read his article at his blog, jackrasmus.com, or go to the PRN website articles archive).

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Jack Rasmus – Hillary’s Ghosts

On the eve of the first presidential debate, concern is growing among Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton supporters that her previous lead in the polls is narrowing and Republican rival Donald Trump is nearly "neck and neck" in voter support in key "swing states." In what are two of the three ‘bellweather’ states—Ohio and Florida (the other is Pennsylvania)—Trump appears ahead going …

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Alternative Visions – Central Bankers Out of Control – 09.23.16

Today’s show examines and discusses the past week’s major decisions by the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan, and how they represent growing failure and desperation of central bank monetary policy globally. Bank of Japan promises to keep bond rates at zero for another ten years and to continue to inject money until inflation exceeds 2%. The Federal Reserve …

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Alternative Visions – US Incomes And Pre-Election Hype About Economic Recovery – 09.16.16

Jack takes on recent reports from private and government sources this past week that US incomes and the economy are finally recovering. Taking issue with Paul Krugman’s column today, ‘Trickle Up Economics’, hyping the reports, Jack cites and explains contrary data that show the reports and Krugman punditry are questionable. Alternative sources, like the Gallup Poll, show 87% of US population surveyed consider the economy poor or getting worse. Other sources show the doubling of death rates from drugs, suicide, and alcohol for the 25-64 age group—Trump’s target voters in key swing states. Jack discusses data showing Trump now leads in key swing states, Ohio and Florida, where incomes remain down as much as 10%, as well as in other swing states. Why Clinton’s campaign is trying to reorient to the 25-64 group and millennials—too little too late. The show concludes with Jack repeating his prediction of US recession in 2017-18, and predicting post-election policies of more business tax cuts, infrastructure spending, TPP, and Fed interest rate hikes are coming.

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Alternative Visions – Why US Workers Are So Angry This Election Cycle – 09.09.16

Media, press, pundits and politicians in the US today keep hyping the US economy as doing well. We hear the US economy is growing nicely, better than other economies at least. Wages are finally rising, and full employment is here.  Jack bunks these and other myths about the US economy on the eve of the US election, and explains why …

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Alternative Visions – The New Financial Imperialism How It Works – 09.02.16

Dr. Jack Rasmus summarizes his just published book this month, ‘Looting Greece: A New Financial Imperialism Emerges’, Clarity Press, Sept. 2016, explaining how debt and credit are becoming new and even more efficient and generalized means by which the more powerful capitalist countries are beginning to extract and transfer wealth from the smaller and more vulnerable. Jack describes the various techniques and means by which financial measures are used to extract surplus. Greece is a case example of the new imperialism taking shape increasingly globally. ‘Looting Greece’ is a sequel to Dr. Rasmus’s January 2016 publication, ‘Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy’, which described how the shift to financial investing is slowing down the global economy, and how a new global finance capital elite is increasingly dominating national economies and slowing growth. In the last half of the show, Rasmus reviews the major economic events of the past week, including today’s US job numbers, recent US manufacturing data, the US central bank meeting—and why the Fed will raise interest rates for certain before year end and the impact that will have on a shift to fiscal spending in 2017 andthe US economy’s coming recession in 2017-18 as well as on emerging markets, China and US corporate profits. The show concludes with a commentary on recent IMF and BIS reports on the global economy.

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Alternative Visions – Greek Debt Crisis II: Why Syriza Lost – 08.26.16

Jack takes a detailed look at the strategic and tactical errors of the Syriza party and Greek government in 2015 that led to its eventual capitulation to the Troika, resulting in continued austerity and economic depression in Greece. Among the errors noted are Syriza’s naïve reliance on the support from social democratic allies in Europe that did not exist or abandoned it, Syriza’s repeated unilateral concessions to the Troika without any concessions in turn, its allowing the ECB to slowly shut down Greece’s banking system and its refusal to nationalize its banks to remove them from ECB control, Syriza’s agreement to extend the prior debt terms and continue making debt payments to the Troika while the Troika denied Greece loans and payments it was due, amateur bargaining tactics by Syriza negotiators, Syriza’s refusal to leverage potential support from Russia, China, threaten to leave NATO, or to demand concessions from the Troika in exchange for Greece assistance controlling refugee flows into Europe, Syriza continued signals it would not Grexit or form an alternate parallel currency, Syriza’s poorly worded referendum vote in July, and its leaders’ rejection of the results of the vote. (For more detailed analysis of the Greek debt events from 1999 through May 2016, see Jack Rasmus, ‘Looting Greece: An Emerging New Financial Imperialism’, Clarity Press, September 2016.) See also the article by Rasmus on Greece posted on the PRN website and at Jack’s blog, jackrasmus.com.