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George Monbiot – How to Build a Crisis

What have governments learnt from the financial crisis? I could write a column spelling it out. Or I could do the same job with one word. Nothing. Actually, that’s too generous. The lessons learned are counter-lessons, anti-knowledge, new policies that could scarcely be better designed to ensure the crisis recurs, this time with added momentum and fewer remedies. And the …

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George Monbiot – The Gathering Financial Storm Is Just One Effect of Corporate Power Unbound

Corporate-friendly international agreement like TPP and TTIP, writes Monbiot, “could scarcely be better designed to exacerbate and universalise our multiple crises – financial, social and environmental.” What have governments learned from the financial crisis? I could write a column spelling it out. Or I could do the same job with one word: nothing. Actually, that’s too generous. The lessons learned …

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Bri Holmes – The Real Cost of Higher Education

This September, millions of young Americans will start college, but at what cost? Each year, the collective student loan debt skyrockets as tuitions continue to rise and graduates compete for scarce jobs with stagnant wages. From 2011 to 2013, the amount of debt held by recent graduates increased a whopping 20 percent, reaching a total more than $1.2 trillion. While Americans struggle to …

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It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown – End of the Line – 09.30.15

Our debt-based monetary system conceals a brutal fact: indebtedness to private sources for the acquisition of money is an unnecessary scourge on our economy and societal well-being. But with everyone, including local and state governments, in debt over their heads there’s nowhere to get more without digging the hole deeper. Systemically, the debt-money regime has run its course. Happily, alternatives are being explored in the form of outright free public issue of money directly to the people — “QE for the People.” We look at several dimensions of these ideas. Ellen speaks with noted UK professor and author Mary Mellor about the democratization of money and financial systems. Co-host Walt McRee discusses the current Bretton Woods IV Convocation which is focusing on the vital need for reclaiming public control of money, and on the Public Banking Report Matt Stannard takes a look at the morality of money.

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Risk of financial crisis higher than previously estimated International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis

The study, published in the journal Financial Stability, introduces a new method that allows researchers to estimate the systemic risk that emerge from multiple layers of connectivity. “Systemic risk is the risk that a significant part of the financial system stops working–that it cannot perform its function,” says IIASA Advanced Systems Analysis program researcher Sebastian Poledna, who led the study. …

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Alternative Visions – US GDP Revisions + A Tale of Two Debt Deals-Greece & Ukraine – 08.28.15

Jack examines the big swing in the revised GDP figures for the 2nd quarter, and raises questions about the US Government’s ability to adjust for seasonality in the figures. How is it that every year for the past four years, the US economy (and GDP numbers) collapse to near zero or less in the winter and then surge above average in the spring-summer? Can it be just coincidence, occurring now four times? How reliable are GDP numbers, in the US and globally (China, India, Europe?). Jack then looks at the details of the recent revision, concluding that business inventories, net exports, and commercial building number swings have good reason to doubt the veracity or continuity of the numbers. In the second half of the show, the recent debt restructuring deals just concluded in Greece and Ukraine in recent weeks indicate a new kind of colonialism may be emerging in the periphery of Europe, where debt is used as the ‘product’ by the colonizers to extract wealth and an income stream from the ‘colony’ by means of financial asset transfer instead of direct low wage and low cost production of goods—as in the case of past forms of colonialism. Jack reviews in detail the recent Memorandum signed by Greece and the Troika, which not only reveals even more austerity but now a direct management of the Greek colony economy to ensure payments on the $400 billion plus debt continue to be made. Direct management is a new feature of the new ‘inside’ colonialism. Direct management is even more blatant in the case of the Ukraine deal, Jack explains, where former US and EU shadow bankers now run Ukraine’s economy on a day to day basis. Depressions will get worse in both countries and more debt restructurings are inevitable.

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Charles Eisenstein – “Don’t Owe. Won’t Pay.” Everything You’ve Been Told About Debt Is Wrong

The legitimacy of a given social order rests on the legitimacy of its debts. Even in ancient times this was so. In traditional cultures, debt in a broad sense—gifts to be reciprocated, memories of help rendered, obligations not yet fulfilled—was a glue that held society together. Everybody at one time or another owed something to someone else. Repayment of debt …

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Progressive Commentary Hour – 08.04.15

Dr. Richard Smith is an historian specializing in China and its transition to capitalism, and on economics, environmental and ecological issues. He received his doctorate in history from UCLA and has written on the many penetrating investigative reports and research papers on the capitalism’s failures and threats to the preservation of our planet. He is the author of “Green Capitalism: The God that Failed” published earlier this year by the World Economics Association. He is currently working two new books addressing China’s environmental threats and another on capitalism and the global environment.

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The Gary Null Show – 08.04.15

Dr. Richard Smith is an historian specializing in China and its transition to capitalism, and on economics, environmental and ecological issues. He received his doctorate in history from UCLA and has written on the many penetrating investigative reports and research papers on the capitalism’s failures and threats to the preservation of our planet. He is the author of “Green Capitalism: The God that Failed” published earlier this year by the World Economics Association. He is currently working two new books addressing China’s environmental threats and another on capitalism and the global environment.