The world is facing the worst financial crisis since at least the 1930s “if not ever”, the Governor of the Bank of England said last night. Sir Mervyn King was speaking after the decision by the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee to put £75billion of newly created money into the economy in a desperate effort to stave off a new credit crisis and a UK recession...
Tag Archives | Financial Crisis
A Report from A Front That May Soon Be Shut DownBefore you read on, watch this: a video from the base camp of the #OccupyWall Street protest that is now in its seventh day. It’s called “No One Can Predict the Moment of Revolution.” (The video was produced by Martyna Starosta and her friend Iva) These are the faces of a wannabe revolution, more than a protest but not yet quite a major movement. The spirit is infectious perhaps because of the sincerity of the participants and their obvious commitment to their ideals. Occupy Wall Street is more than a protest; it is as much an exercise in building a leaderless, bottom-up resistance community with a more democratic approach to challenging the system where everyone is encouraged to have a say. But saying that also leads to a conflict between my emotional identification with the kids that have rallied in this small park/public space on Liberty Street to exercise some liberty, with a despairing analysis that wishes this enterprise well but harbors deep doubts about its staying power and impact...
Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:
The showdown over the budget and the debt ceiling continues to drag on and Congress is still attempting to cut spending down to nothing but defense, tax breaks for the wealthy and their own salaries. While politicians continue to rail against taxes and spending and the media hypes the “gang of six”, it seems that we’re quietly moving past an interesting historical marker. Ten years ago, former President George W. Bush signed the first round of tax cuts and the Treasury Department began to borrow billions in order to pay for them.
Think Progress reports that on August 1, 2001, the AP ran a story on the Treasury announcing its intent to borrow $51 billion to cover the tax rebate checks handed out by the Bush Administration. In addition, the article highlighted the Democratic argument against the Bush tax cuts: “Democrats argued that President Bush’s $1.35 trillion 10-year tax-cut package, which includes the rebate checks, is too large, and they expressed fears it will sow the seeds for a return to days of government red ink.… Read the rest
"I have reached the point where I say enough," and added "I've reached my limit. This may bring my presidency down, but I will not yield on this," according to the Republican aide. After leaving the debt talks, Obama said this confirms the totality of what the American people already believe" about Washington politicians who are "too focused on positioning and political posturing." (RawStory)
Jessica Bruder writes in the Christian Science Monitor:
This mining town of 300 people clings like a burr to the back of the Black Rock Desert. For years, it was marked on state Highway 447 by a two-story sign reading, “Welcome to Nowhere.”
On June 20, that tongue-in-cheek greeting will become a fact. Empire, Nev., will transform into a ghost town. An eight-foot chain-link fence crowned with barbed wire will seal off the 136-acre plot. Even the local ZIP Code, 89405, will be discontinued.
Many towns have been scarred by the recession, but Empire will be the first to completely disappear. For only a few days more it will remain the last intact example of an American icon: the company town.
Since 1948, the United States Gypsum Corporation (USG), which is the nation’s largest drywall manufacturer, has held title to all of Empire: four dusty streets lined with cottonwoods, elms, and silver poplars, dozens of low-slung houses, a community hall, a swimming pool, a cracked tennis court, and a nine-hole golf course called Burning Sands…
Read More: Christian Science Monitor
Pulitzer-winning author and former New York Times reporter Chris Hedges has a revolutionary worldview. In the video below, his recent “Endgame Strategy” piece for AdBusters is read aloud by George Atherton. His conclusions are chilling, but not entirely hopeless. “We will have to take care of ourselves,” he wrote. “We will have to rapidly create small, monastic communities where we can sustain and feed ourselves. It will be up to us to keep alive the intellectual, moral and cultural values the corporate state has attempted to snuff out. It is either that or become drones and serfs in a global corporate dystopia. It is not much of a choice. But at least we still have one.
Rana Foroohar writes in TIME:
… Read the rest
Tis the season to be selfish. Right after the global financial crisis exploded in 2008, many economists fretted that countries looking to hold on to their share of a shrinking pie would become more self-interested and protectionist, plunging the planet into an even sharper downturn, just as happened in the 1930s after the Great Depression. Thanks to panic-fueled crisis management by policymakers, it didn’t happen. But after three years of pain and very little economic gain, it may be happening now.
The signs are everywhere. Europeans are in the middle of a potentially calamitous debt crisis, one that threatens not only the survival of the euro zone but the idea of the European Union itself: politicians are starting to talk about rolling back visa-free travel between countries. Meanwhile, OPEC is falling apart as the Saudis and the Iranians bicker over how to control the world’s energy spigots.