Alternative Visions – Review of Political Events of 2016 and Political Predictions 2017 – 01.06.16

Complimenting last week show’s review of key economic events of 2016 and economic predictions for 2017, Rasmus provides a similar overview of key political events in 2016, their likely continuing impact into this year, and his political predictions for 2017. Discussion includes the Trump victory in 2016 and the Democratic Party’s corresponding implosion at national, state and local levels. Rasmus predicts Trump quick legislative successes passing multi-trillion dollar corporate-investor tax cuts, gutting Obamacare, and repealing Dodd-Frank. On foreign policy, Jack predicts a deal with Russia over Syria, a continuing Trump ‘hard pivot’ to China already underway, a shift in US policy to allow Japan to remilitarize, and new US initiatives toward Taiwan, South Korea, Philippines and Australia as Trump attempts to ‘soften up’ China before engaging in bilateral renegotiation of the US-China relationship. Europe and Latin America key events in 2016 are reviewed, including Brexit, the Italian Referendum, and US-assisted legal coup d-etats in Argentina, Brazil, and efforts to destabilize Venezuela. Jack predicts elections in France, Netherlands, and Italy next year, and a renewed Greek debt crisis, will further destabilize Europe politically. Anti-US and Europe sentiment in Turkey could result in resumption of mass immigration. A National Front party victory in France will ensure the unraveling of Europe. Jack further predicts Trump will go slow on NAFTA and TPP and shift to negotiating bilateral free trade deals, go slow on the Iran treaty and strike a ‘deal’ on east Europe (including Ukraine) with Russia. Immigration policy will begin deporting millions, and a crackdown on civil liberties will result in more intense police action against protestors like Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock. The feud between Trump and the US mainstream media (Times and Post) will continue, as the latter continue to build a case against Trump in the longer run.


Alternative Visions – Review of 2016 US and Global Economic Events + Predictions 2017 – 12.30.16

Dr. Jack Rasmus reviews the major economic events of 2016 and their likely continuing impact in the year ahead. Topics includes global trade stagnation, Federal Reserve rate hikes, global oil and commodity prices, property financial bubbles in China and capital flight and devaluation, Europe events involving the ECB, Italian and Europe banks, the UK economy post-Brexit, negative rates and non performing bank loans worldwide, the failure of Abenomics and bank of Japan’s QE, Latin American recessions, and the global corporate debt bubble. Also addressed are the US economy’s first quarter collapse and recovery, Fed rates, the shift to fiscal-infrastructure spending, the unwinding bond bubble and emerging stock bubble, health care and drug price inflation, and the rising US dollar and its impact on emerging markets. Jack offers his predictions for 2017 for the US economy, Europe, Japan, China, India, Latin America, emerging markets, and global commodity prices. (Next week show: review of major political events of 2016 and political predictions 2017).


Alternative Visions – US Stock Bubble-Causes and Consequences + Italy Banks – 12.09

Jack focuses on the bubble growing in US stock markets, as money capital surges out of bonds and from Europe and emerging markets into US stocks. All US markets are at record levels, with the DOW having tripled since 2009 in value. Jack discusses the various causes and origins of the current bubble, including the global rotation from bonds, anticipated Trump infrastructure spending and massive corporate tax cuts, multi-industry deregulations coming, and devaluing foreign currencies. The recent Saez report on income inequality trends is reviewed in contrast. Why capitalists are switching from monetary, central bank policy now to fiscal policy to continue massive gains for the 1%. Other negative data for the US is reviewed, including productivity trends and public debt. The show concludes with a discussion of the recent Italian referendum and Italian banks and China’s pending currency devaluation and bank problems.


Alternative Visions – Trump’s Election and Economic Consequences—US and Global – 11.11.16

Jack Rasmus discusses the economics behind why Trump won the election, and the economic legacies of the Obama regime behind why the white working class in the great lakes region—from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin—abandoned the Democrats and voted against the political elites and Clinton. Jack refers listeners to his shows earlier this year and predictions this would happen. (see also articles on his blog, The no-college white working class vote was key, along with lower turnout for Clinton among Latinos, youth, and even African-Americans compared to 2008 and even 2012. The show then reviews the areas of economic consequences expected from a Trump election, including: booming stock markets, rising bond interest rates, big corporate tax cuts coming quickly, Infrastructure spending, more price gouging by pharmaceutical companies and health insurers, the early dismantling of Obamacare and Dodd-Frank bank regulation acts, likely repeal of alternative energy credits, restoration of the Keystone pipeline project, gutting of the EPA’s funding, suspension of proposed industrial plant emissions, refusal to implement the Paris climate accords, boosted production of gas fracking, pipelines, and coal production, an immediate Federal Reserve rate hike in December and more likely in 2017 now, renewed attacks on social security, surging government deficits and debt, general deregulation of business and across the board repeal of Obama executive orders and passage of anti-Latino immigration legislation. The consequences for the global economy are also considered, with focus on emergency markets currency collapse, capital flight and further recessions, rising US dollar and falling oil prices, China’s currency devaluation, Europe and Japan QE policies, and likely measures addressing free trade including NAFTA, TPP, and TTIP.


Alternative Visions – Interview with Jill Stein, Green Party Presidential Candidate – 11.04.16

Dr. Rasmus interviews Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate, discussing the real issues of the presidential election and her Party’s positions and solutions to the deepening political and economic crisis in the USA. Topics addressed include Green party proposals for tax reform. Reversing job destroying NAFTA, TPP, and free trade treaties. What to do about escalating healthcare costs and prescription drug price gouging. How to eliminate student debt and provide free public college education. Solutions to the growing retirement crisis and how to fund doubling of social security benefits and Medicare for All. Who Jill would appoint to the Supreme Court and reverse Citizens United. Her proposals for immigration reform. And Green party positions on preventing US military confrontation with Russia in Syria, East Europe and with China in the south China seas, toward which the US continues to drift. How claims of ‘lesser evilism’ to vote Democrat to oppose Trump is a dead end and why voting a third party is the only way forward.


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).


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.