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David Lindorff – What’s Behind the Fed’s Decision to Raise Interest Rates in a Struggling Economy?

Much has been written and broadcast over the past few weeks in the financial media and the business pages of general-interest newspapers debating the wisdom of the decision in December by Fed Chair Janet Yellen and the Federal Reserve Board to raise interest rates for the first time in almost a decade. On one side of this debate are people …

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Paul Craig Roberts – What Does Today’s “Rate Hike” Mean?

The Federal Reserve raised the interbank borrowing rate today by one quarter of one percent or 25 basis points. Readers are asking, “what does that mean?” It means that the Fed has had time to figure out that the effect of the small “rate hike” would essentially be zero. In other words, the small increase in the target rate from …

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Alternative Visions – ‘US Fed Reverses Course on Rate Hikes? + ‘How Big Pharma is Killing Us’ – 09.25.15

Jack reviews briefly the apparent flip-flop by Janet Yellen, chair of the US central bank, in her talk on September 24, as she shifted course from last week’s Fed meeting, and signaled that a US interest rate hike will almost certainly come in December. How the Fed is now caught between its emerging, contradictory role as central bank for the US as well as for the global economy. Jack challenges Yellen’s view that US prices, now at 0.5%, will eventually rise as oil prices reverse and increase again and as the labor market in the US improves—and explains why this is not likely to happen soon. In the second half of the show, big Pharmaceutical companies are the topic. Jack explains how Wall St. and shadow bankers increasingly run Pharma and have turned it into a speculative investing center where drug price manipulation and gouging is increasingly the norm causing astronomically price hikes for life-saving drugs, with the result of killing of countless more Americans denied unaffordable drugs. How Wall St. has turned the industry, from what should be a public good, into a $500 billion speculative profits center with 20% annual rates of return, into a prime source of mergers and acquisitions profits for banks, and into a major tax avoidance (thru global tax ‘inversions’) industry that gets $100 billion in government R&D subsidies. Jack reviews in detail the latest scandal to hit the press this past week, with Turing Corp.’s 5000% increase for a pill to treat toxoplasmosis that prevents infections in pregnancies, cancer, and AIDs patients. Similar price manipulations delivering ‘rentier’ profits by Rodelis Corp., Valeant Corp., Alexion and Gilead Corps are reviewed. How the disease of finance capital is spreading throughout the US economy as bankers and corporate America continue to ‘kill’ Americans in the name of excess profits.