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Alternative Visions – IMF vs. Greece Again, China & US GDP, and the Fed as Cause of Income Inequality – 04.22.16

Jack comments on the recent Wikileaks revelations of secret IMF plans to impose still more austerity on Greece before this summer. Jack revisits his predictions of last summer 2015 that the Greek debt crisis would reappear in 2016 along with the UK exit from the EU and renewed talk of a Greece exit as well—both of which now appear on the agenda. The Troika’s origins of the Greek Debt and why a new kind of financial imperialism is now emerging. Fractures between segments of Europe’s financial-economic elites continue to grow. Jack discusses what’s wrong with US job and GDP numbers, and why China GDP stats are about half of the official GDP rates. Why US central bank, FED, policy of no interest rate hike benefits US multinational companies at the expense of tens of millions of US households and small businesses. Jack concludes with explaining why global oil prices will again fall, China’s mini-stimulus will again fade, and why Japan and Europe will slip further into QE and NIRP (negative interest rates) in coming months.

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Alternative Visions – Verizon Workers’ Strike and How Corporations Are Destroying US Jobs – 04.15.16

Jack Rasmus discusses the strike of 36,000 communication workers that began this week at Verizon Communications and how it reflects the radical destruction by corporations of decent jobs in the US that has been occurring since the 1990s. Jack calculates 52 million of the total 157 million jobs in the US labor force today are some form of ‘contingent’ or so-called ‘alternative work’ arrangements, paying substandard wages and few if any benefits. The Verizon strike represents worker-union efforts to stop corporate conversion of full time regular jobs to ‘contingent,’ outsourced, contract work. Jack discusses a recent Princeton Univ. study that shows temp and independent contract jobs have risen by 9.4 million just since 2005—i.e. more than the total increase in new jobs (9.1m) over the same period. Full time contingent jobs now total 23.6m, according to the Princeton study. Add to that 26 m more in part time contingent employment, plus another 8.2m unemployed and more than 60 million US workers now earn less than full time wages and virtually no benefits. And more if the ‘Uberization’ of work underway is considered. Median earnings for the 50m barely exceed $30k a year. Jack explains this is at the core of the growing working class discontent in the US that is fueling both the Trump and the Sanders candidacies. Jack speculates on the possibility of a 4-way race for the presidency in this year’s elections. The show concludes with a review of the global economy, including the IMF’s recent lowered forecast, China’s recent GDP stats, and Jack revisiting his prior forecast the US economy would again stagnant and approach zero GDP growth for the first quarter 2016 in stats out in a couple of weeks.

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Alternative Visions – Panama Papers’ Revelations & What’s Happening in Europe (French protests, Dutch voters, Brexit-Grexit, German Economy) – 04.08.16

Jack discusses this past week’s revelations out of Panama of the massive tax sheltering, avoidance and fraud by the US and global economic elites. The economic tax ‘wikileaks’ revelations show global politicians deeply implicated, including Iceland, UK, Argentina prime ministers. Jack refers listeners back to his 2006 ‘War at Home’ book and the ‘Great American Tax Shift’ and writings ever since on this topic, available at his blog, jackrasmus.com and website, www.kyklosproductions.com/articles/html. Where the US, Euro, Russian, China 1% hide their money in 27 global ‘jurisdictions’, estimated conservatively at $11 trillion today. Phone Congress ‘repatriation’ tax proposals of 2005 and 2016 are explained, recent inversion deals, and how and why US corporations hold more than $2T offshore today. In the second half of the show, Jack reviews growing events in Europe, with French workers and students staging massive protests against ‘labor law reforms’, Dutch voters rejecting inclusion of Ukraine into the EU, why odds favor a UK (Brexit) from the Eurozone this June, why a Greek ‘Grexit’ may follow as the IMF threatens to renege on last August’s Greek bailout, and new evidence of a Germany economic slowdown. (For further analysis of Europe, see except of Jack’s chapter 6, ‘Europe’s Chronic Stagnation’, from his 2016 book, ‘Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy’, posted on his kyklosproductions website above).

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Alternative Visions – The Right Wing Offensive in South America: An Eyewitness Report – 04.01.16

Jack Rasmus welcomes Pablo Vivanco, political commentator in Quito, Ecuador to provide a latest update on the right wing economic and political forces in ascendance in South America, focusing on the latest developments in Argentina, Brazil and Venezuela. As the economic crisis deepens throughout the region due to forces beyond the control of progressive governments in the region—i.e. falling oil and commodity prices, collapsing currencies, capital flight, slowing global economy—right wing forces (with assistance of US government and elite) have launched in the past year an intense attack throughout South America to reverse the tide of progressive governments that came to power since 2000. Vivanco describes the strategies and tactics, economic and political, currently being employed by the nascent Right Wing Offensive, including efforts to depose recently duly elected governments in Venezuela and Brazil and the launching of intense austerity measures, shutting down of independent media, mass layoffs, while rewarding of global bankers and investors by the new right wing government of billionaire, Mauricio Macri, in Argentina. New popular movements of resistance are described by Vivanco, as are efforts of the new right wing forces and governments to stifle independent journalists and media outlets throughout the region.

Pablo Vivanco is currently Director of the English Division of Telesur Media in Latin America, a consortium of progressive Latin American countries. A former radio host of ‘Voces Latinas’, he is a long time activist in movements for progressive change in Latin America, living and working in Quito. For timely reports in English on daily Latin American political events, go to: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/index.html

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Alternative Visions – Europe’s Central Bank Expands Its QE in Response to Japan’s – 03.11.16

Last month the Bank of Japan (BoJ) expanded its QE program and negative interest rates (NIRP) in a desperate attempt to reboost its stock market and Yen exchange rate. This past week the European Central Bank (ECB)went a step further, as both the ECB and BoJ continue to engage in ‘dueling QEs’ that are intensifying global currency wars and slowing global trade. ECB chairman, Mario Draghi, lowered the Eurozone’s negative rate on government bonds another notch, now to -0.4%. Reportedly half of all government bonds in Europe now trade at negative rates. In addition, the ECB raised its monthly buying amount from $66 billion to $88 billion, and now will buy corporate bonds as well. The move subsidizes Euro corporations, lowering their costs of borrowing and insurance (CDS) on bonds, a move to offload the $1.5 trillion in corporate non-performing loans in Europe. Jack Rasmus explains why this won’t have any effect on the Eurozone real economy but will temporary boost stocks and currency. Jack also reviews why global oil prices have risen recently to $40 a barrel, Japan’s official return to recession after doctoring GDP numbers last 3Q2015, China’s latest ‘mini-stimulus’, the US deepening control of Ukraine’s economy, and the significance of the ‘Socialist’ government in France new attack on eliminating the 35 hr. workweek, where 90% of all jobs created in 2015 were part time and temp, and the mass protests now emerging there. Jack concludes with brief introduction to his forthcoming May 2016 book, ‘Looting Greece: The Emergence of a New Imperialism’, and his next book out October 2016 entitled, ‘Central Bankers on the Ropes’, both from Clarity Press. (see his blog, jackrasmus.com and Clarity Press for more information).

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Alternative Visions – Presidential Legacies: the True Records of Reagan and Clinton – 03.04.16

Republican and Democrat presidential candidates sing the praises of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, promising to return to their ‘golden years’ if elected and ‘make America great again’. In today’s show we look at the real record and legacies of Reagan and Clinton: how the 1% got filthier rich under both, how wages and benefits for workers stagnated or fell, how pensions and health care coverage and costs collapsed and rose, how jobs were off shored, reduced by free trade, how part time and temp job creation became rampant, how budget and trade deficits soared, how social security costs were shifted to workers, and other ‘great accomplishments’ were recorded. How Clinton policies were continuation of Reagan’s. How the 1% went from 39% of all income gains to 45% (and today to 97%). The show concludes with some comments on what might happen to the Trump and Clinton nominations and the great uncertainties for the two party system possible this election cycle.

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JACK RASMUS – The Next Global Financial Fault Line

Global Equity Markets In the past year the stock markets in China erupted, contracting by nearly 50% in just three months, after having risen in the preceding year by 130%–truly a ‘bubble event’. That collapse, commencing in June 2015, continues despite efforts to stabilize it. Chinese bankers then injected directly $400 billion to stem the decline. Including other government and …

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Alternative Visions – The Billionaires Behind The US Presidential Election – 02.19.16

In today’s show host, Jack Rasmus , focuses on who is providing the big money behind US presidential candidates—Rubio, Cruz, Bush, Clinton, and Trump. The names of the big right wing donors behind the Republicans candidates are noted, where they’ve made their billions and how much they’ve contributed. How the Clinton’s have amassed more than $110 million in assets since 2001, including more than $100million in speaking fees. Hillary’s billionaire contributors. The legal corruption of the US election system is explained, including ‘dark money’ from 501 (c) groups that hide their contributors. (see his blog, jackrasmus.com, for a more detailed analysis of ‘billionaires behind the US election’). Jack then digresses to comment on the recent death this past week of the right wing ideologue, Supreme Court justice, Antonin Scalia, whose legacy includes advancing the corruption of the US electoral system from Citizens United case to restricting voting rights, and limits on civil liberties of minorities. At the ‘top of the show’ Jack reviews the major economic developments of the past week, including actions by central banks in the Eurozone, Japan and China; prospects for a ‘deal’ on global oil prices between Russia and Saudi Arabia; and the negotiations in Brussels in progress between the UK’s prime minister, David Cameron, and the European Union on the coming June 2016 UK election to decide whether to ‘exit’ the EU or not. Jack concludes the show with a review of his late 2015 predictions of the ‘fault lines’ in the global financial system in China, Europe, Emerging Markets, and the US, which now appear to be emerging as predicted. (see his blog, jackrasmus.com, for a free chapter from his book, ‘Systemic Fragility in the Global Economy’, on why China will likely be the locus of the next financial crisis).

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China’s Stock Market Falls, a New Global Financial Crisis Next? – Jack Rasmus

China’s two main stock markets, the Shanghai and the Shenzhen Exchanges, plunged more than 30% in recent weeks from their previous record highs of June 12. The Shanghai dropped 30%, and the tech-stock heavy Shenzhen by 37%. That’s the steepest stock decline in China since 1992. The markets briefly stabilized on July 9. But the question remains, will they continue …

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Alternative Visions – Greece’s Challenge to Euro Neoliberalism – 07.04.15

Jack Rasmus explains the northern Europe Neoliberal origins of the current Greek Debt crisis, and why the Troika cannot and will not accept Greece’s proposals which would upset the Euro-wide Neoliberal consensus. Greece’s proposals represent a return to traditional, pre-Neoliberal, European social democracy—which has been replaced with a new Neoliberal regime Europe-wide since 2000 with the creation of the Euro …