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Topic Summary

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 14, 2019, 09:59:45 pm »

Global Capitalism: Rise of Socialism in the US Today

Partner Content Provided By:Economic Update with Richard Wolff
May 14, 2019

Global Capitalism: Live Economic Update with Richard D. Wolff. In connection with Wolff’s discussion of the main topic, he also covers: Libertarianism and socialism, Anti-capitalism and socialism, Democratic socialism: its multiple meanings. Co-sponsored by Democracy at Work and Judson Memorial Church


https://therealnews.com/third_party_content/global-capitalism-rise-of-socialism-in-the-us-today
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 13, 2019, 01:58:15 pm »

By Joseph Stiglitz

May 13, 2019

SNIPPET:

Whatever form wealth-snatching takes — from the abuse of market power and information asymmetries to profiting from environmental degradation — there are specific policies and regulations that could both prevent the worst outcomes and yield far-reaching economic and social benefits. Having fewer people die from air pollution, drug overdoses, and “deaths of despair,” will mean having more people who contribute productively to society.

Regulation has had a bad name since Reagan and Thatcher made it synonymous with “red tape.” But regulation often improves efficiency. Anyone living in a city knows that without stoplights — a simple “regulation” governing the flow of cars through an intersection — we would live in perpetual gridlock. Without air quality standards, the smog in Los Angeles and London would be worse than the air in Beijing and Delhi.

The private sector 😈💵🎩 would never take it upon itself to curb pollution. Just ask Volkswagen VW, -3.17%.

Trump and the lobbyists he has appointed to dismantle the U.S. government are doing everything they can to strip away regulations protecting the environment, public health, and even the economy.

For more than four decades after the Great Depression, a strong regulatory framework prevented financial crises, until it came to be seen, in the 1980s, as “stifling” innovation. With the first wave of deregulation came the savings and loan crisis, followed by more deregulation and the dot-com bubble in the 1990s, and then the global financial crisis in 2008.

At that point, countries around the world tried to rewrite the rules to prevent a recurrence. But now the Trump administration is doing what it can to reverse that progress.

So, too, the antitrust regulations implemented to ensure that markets work like they are supposed to — competitively — have been stripped back.

Full article:

 

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 10, 2019, 05:07:20 pm »

Posted by: Surly1
« on: May 06, 2019, 08:32:30 pm »

Senator Elizabeth Warren Questions SEC Chair Jay Clayton During Senate Banking Committee Hearing, September 26, 2017

Senator Elizabeth Warren

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: May 6, 2019 ~

In May 2012 when New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin wrote his severely factually-challenged analysis of whether the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act had led to the Wall Street collapse in 2008, he seemed to have an agenda of undermining Elizabeth Warren, then running for her first U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts, in her push to restore the Glass-Steagall Act. That legislation, which was formally known as the Banking Act of 1933, created Federal insurance on deposits held in commercial banks while barring those banks from being under the same roof with the Wall Street casino – that is, high risk securities underwriting and trading firms known as investment banks and broker-dealers.

The legislation grew out of two intense years of Senate investigations from 1932-1934 which concluded that the “unsavory and unethical” practices by Wall Street securities trading firms had played the dominant role in the financial collapse of the 1930s. The Glass-Steagall legislation had protected the U.S. financial system from any catastrophic collapse for 66 years until its repeal under President Bill Clinton in 1999. (Clinton’s administration was heavily influenced by Wall Street figures.) Just nine years after the repeal, Wall Street would collapse in a replay of the early 1930s.

Sorkin wrote the following in his 2012 article, attempting to show that separating banks would not have prevented the collapse:

“The first domino to nearly topple over in the financial crisis was Bear Stearns, an investment bank that had nothing to do with commercial banking. Glass-Steagall would have been irrelevant. Then came Lehman Brothers; it too was an investment bank with no commercial banking business and therefore wouldn’t have been covered by Glass-Steagall either. After them, Merrill Lynch was next — and yep, it too was an investment bank that had nothing to do with Glass-Steagall.

“Next in line was the American International Group, an insurance company that was also unrelated to Glass-Steagall.”

The problem with Sorkin’s premise is that it is built on a mountain of errors. Lehman Brothers owned two Federally-insured banks — Lehman Brothers Bank, FSB and Lehman Brothers Commercial Bank. Lehman was brokering Federally-insured CDs all over Wall Street to retail customers through its bank. Lehman Brothers Commercial Bank, as of September 30, 2008, had $6.4 billion in assets and $5.65 billion in notional derivatives according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Merrill Lynch owned three Federally-insured banks and one of them, Merrill Lynch Bank USA, had assets of $61.6 billion and notional derivatives of $94.3 billion as of September 30, 2008 according to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Merrill Senior VP, John Qua, stated in 2003 that “the combined balance sheet of our global banks is approximately $100 billion.” Merrill collapsed into the arms of Bank of America on September 14, 2008, the day before Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy protection.

Bear Stearns owned Bear Stearns Bank Ireland, which became part of JPMorgan Chase after its takeover of Bear with bailout support from the government. The bank was renamed JPMorgan Bank (Dublin) PLC. According to a previous statement from JPMorgan, “It is the only EU passported bank in the non-bank chain of JPMorgan and provides the firm with direct access to the European Central Bank repo window. It has also been added to the JPMorgan Jumbo issuance programs to issue structured securities for distribution outside the United States.” Structured securities is code for the instruments that blew up the U.S. financial system in 2008.

When Sorkin uses American International Group (AIG) in an attempt to undermine Elizabeth Warren’s continuing efforts to restore the Glass-Steagall Act, he is like the dumb tourist in a debate with Albert Einstein. Warren chaired the Congressional Oversight Panel that delivered its exhaustive report on June 10, 2010 on the failure and $185 billion government bailout of AIG.

At the time of the Wall Street collapse in 2008, AIG owned the Federally-insured AIG Federal Savings Bank.  On June 30, 2008, it held $1 billion in assets. AIG also owned 71 U.S.-based insurance entities and 176 other financial services companies throughout the world, including AIG Financial Products (AIGFP) which blew up the whole company selling credit default derivatives and engaging in specious securities lending activities with Wall Street banks. What this has to do with Glass-Steagall is that the same deregulation legislation, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that repealed Glass-Steagall in 1999, also amended the 1956 Bank Holding Company Act and allowed insurance companies and securities firms to be housed under the same umbrella in financial holding companies.

Not only did AIG own U.S. based deposit-taking banks but it owned Banque AIG, a bank it registered in France. Banque AIG was part of AIG Financial Products, the unit that blew up the giant insurer. Warren’s Congressional Oversight Panel reported the following regarding the dubious role of Banque AIG as a “balance sheet rental” facility:

“The regulatory capital swaps allowed financial institutions that bought credit protection from AIGFP to hold less capital than they would otherwise have been required to hold by regulators against pools of residential mortgages and corporate loans. A hypothetical example helps illustrate how this worked. According to the international rules established under Basel I, which generally applied to European banks prior to AIG’s collapse, a bank that held an unhedged pool of loans valued at $1 billion might be required to set aside $80 million, or 8 percent of the pool’s value. But if the bank split the pool of loans, so that the first losses were absorbed by an $80 million junior tranche, and AIGFP provided credit protection on the $920 million senior tranche, the bank could significantly reduce the amount of capital it had to set aside. Importantly, AIG’s regulatory capital swaps were sold by an AIGFP subsidiary called Banque AIG, which was a French-regulated bank.

“Under Basel I, claims on banks such as Banque AIG were assigned a lower risk weighting in the calculation of required capital reserves than the loans for which the counterparties were buying credit protection would have been assigned. This formula worked to the advantage of the counterparties, which could then use some of their regulatory capital savings to pay for the credit protection from AIGFP, and could use the remaining amount to make more loans, increasing their own leverage and risk. Because these swaps allowed banks to take on greater risk by shifting their liabilities to AIGFP, former AIG CEO Edward Liddy has referred to the deals as a ‘balance sheet rental.’ This business grew to become the largest portion of AIGFP’s CDS exposure, reflecting the demand for regulatory capital savings among European banks.”

The chart below shows how government bailout money came in the front door of AIG and went out the back door to bail out Wall Street banks and their foreign counterparts who had entangled themselves in derivative trades with AIG and securities lending. Those figures, by the way, refer to billions of dollars:

Where a Large Part of AIG's Government Bailout Money Went. Figures are in Billions. (Source: Congressional Oversight Panel)

Where a Large Part of AIG’s Government Bailout Money Went. Figures are in Billions.                   Source: Congressional Oversight Panel

Senator Warren, now running for President, is viewed as a threat by Wall Street because of her institutional knowledge of how it perpetrated the crimes that led to the greatest financial collapse since the Great Depression. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which implemented the majority of the $29 trillion bailout program, is also nervous about a potential President Warren.

In addition to knowing the grainy details of what led to the crash, Warren also knows where the money went and why. At a March 3, 2015 Senate hearing on Federal Reserve Accountability and Reform, Warren had this to say:

“During the financial crisis, Congress bailed out the big banks with hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money; and that’s a lot of money. But the biggest money for the biggest banks was never voted on by Congress. Instead, between 2007 and 2009, the Fed provided over $13 trillion in emergency lending to just a handful of large financial institutions. That’s nearly 20 times the amount authorized in the TARP bailout.

“Now, let’s be clear, those Fed loans were a bailout too. Nearly all the money went to too-big-to-fail institutions. For example, in one emergency lending program, the Fed put out $9 trillion and over two-thirds of the money went to just three institutions: Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

“Those loans were made available at rock bottom interest rates – in many cases under 1 percent. And the loans could be continuously rolled over so they were effectively available for an average of about two years.”

Warren is talking about the Fed’s Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF) and her math is spot on.

The obscene and unprecedented nature of secretly loaning trillions of dollars to miscreant banks has not been lost on Warren. This was the first time since 1936 that the Federal Reserve had used its Section 13(3) emergency lending powers. In the 1930s the loans amounted to $1.5 million or $27.3 million in today’s dollars. That’s a pretty far cry from $29 trillion.

Wall Street is also edgy over Warren because of her knowledge that the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, that also investigated the collapse under a statutory mandate, clearly thought some Wall Street executives should have gone to jail or at least been criminally prosecuted. On September 15, 2016, Warren sent a detailed, 20-page letter to the Inspector General of the Department of Justice asking for a review of those FCIC referrals. When only silence on the matter ensued from the Justice Department, Wall Street On Parade filed a Freedom of Information Act request in October 2017. (You can read the full response we received and our reporting on the matter here.) The DOJ is effectively denying the public any accountability for its actions in what was the second greatest financial crash in U.S. history.

Keep all of this in mind if you begin to read more snarky commentary from Andrew Ross Sorkin or others closely linked to Wall Street about Senator Warren or her efforts to restore the Glass-Steagall Act.

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: May 04, 2019, 08:01:25 pm »

Anti-Capitalist Chronicles: Rate and Mass of Growth
4,854 views


Democracy At Work

Published on May 2, 2019

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[S1 E13] Rate and Mass of Growth

Prof. Harvey talks about rate of growth vs. mass of growth, and argues that the latter, often ignored, is actually more significant and deserves careful consideration and analysis.

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Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 30, 2019, 10:52:12 pm »

Economic Update: Capitalism vs. Socialism
16,768 views


Democracy At Work
Published on Apr 29, 2019

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Economic Update: [S9 E17] Capitalism vs. Socialism

This week on Economic Update, Professor Wolff does something a little different. He dives deep into the 200+ year old debate and struggle between capitalism and socialism and looks into how it has become both confused and confusing. The different definitions of these systems make honest, balanced discussions and evaluations of them increasingly more difficult. Now that socialism is rising yet again to challenge capitalism, the debate demands a closer examination of the terms and their numerous, new and different meanings.

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Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 29, 2019, 09:11:13 pm »

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 24, 2019, 11:46:31 am »

This quote from a fellow with the "Gringo Viejo" internet handle is, IMHO, accurate:

Quote
I'd like to think I'm fairly observant and watching the stock and bond markets these last six months has made me aware of something. It's as if beneath the bravado, the back slapping, the goldilocks, everything is great news reportage, there's the smell of fear. It's almost palpable.




Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 23, 2019, 08:52:12 pm »

Trump‘s NAFTA 2.0 Exposed! (w/ Lori Wallach)
2,926 views


Thom Hartmann Program
Published on Apr 22, 2019

Dona;d Trump's NAFTA 2.0. is only a marginal change from the original NAFTA and complete with all the problems NAFTA brought with it including the damage to the environment, working people, and unions.
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 17, 2019, 09:59:26 pm »

Prof. Richard Wolff on Organic 😈 Intellectuals
20,953 views


The Zero Hour with RJ Eskow

Published on Apr 5, 2019

Find more of Prof. Wolff's work: democracyatwork.info

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Some of the music bumpers featuring Lettuce, http://lettucefunk.com.

Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 16, 2019, 03:02:29 pm »

Authored by Jesse Colombo via RealInvestmentAdvice.com

April 16, 2019

SNIPPET:

In addition to the fact that U.S. consumer price inflation has been low since the Great Recession because inflation has been concentrated in asset prices, there are many reasons to believe that consumer price inflation is actually running a lot hotter than mainstream economists think it is (or want you to think it is). According to John Williams, the proprietor of Shadow Government Statistics, the U.S. CPI formula has been changed over the years for the purpose of understating inflation. >:( 

For example, if we use the same CPI formula as we did in 1980 (blue line), it shows that inflation has been running at a nearly 10% annual rate for the past decade rather than the roughly 2% annual rate that today’s CPI (red line) indicates:


Read more:

 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 12, 2019, 06:41:51 pm »

The True Cost Q & A with Richard D. Wolff and Andrea Katz
10,641 views


Democracy At Work

Published on Apr 11, 2019

** New book out now!!!  http://www.lulu.com/shop/richard-d-wo... ***

The True Cost screening + Q&A with Richard D. Wolff and Andrea Katz

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019
Judson Memorial Church

Question and answer session on the documentary, "The True Cost," hosted by the Judson Memorial Church and d@w, with speakers Richard D. Wolff and Andrea Katz.
Category
News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 12, 2019, 06:19:35 pm »

Richard Wolff 👍 Explains How the Hell our Banking System was Put Together
5,831 views


Thom Hartmann Program

Published on Apr 11, 2019

The banking system is a source of great confusion for many people, How was fractional reserve Banking put together, what is the history of banking in the United States?

Professor Richard Wolff, joins the program to explain banking, its history and the theory behind banking.


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Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 11, 2019, 10:15:55 pm »

Economic Update: Employer VS Employee: Capitalism's Endless Conflict
15,918 views


Democracy At Work

Published on Apr 8, 2019

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Economic Update: [S9 E14] Employer VS Employee: Capitalism's Endless Conflict

THIS WEEK'S TOPICS (w/timestamps):
00:56 - Updates on the Los Angeles strippers’ strike;
02:34 - Trump failure to end the U.S. trade deficit;
04:57 - UN reports on protests against capitalist driven inequality and the governmental repression of those protests;
06:05 - the tragic social effects of the closure of GM’s Lordstown, Ohio factory;
07:42 - and the reduction of bank regulations after 10 years of massive bank misdeeds by Trump and FED:
10:34 - announcements.
15:16 - SPECIAL GUEST: Prof. Wolff interviews journalist Bob Hennelly on underpaid EMTs and the right-wing hostility toward the Green New Deal's proposal for a universal right to a job.


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Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 08, 2019, 12:41:14 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Notice that the Federal Reserve deliberately low balled (i.e. LIED ABOUT) the total amount of buybacks in 2018 (see article snippet bellow). That said, there is no doubt that buybacks, even from the Fed perspective, are right there with Fed stock bubble inflating intervention  in keeping the Stock Market artificially rising. As the chart above clearly shows, the beneficiaries of this FINANCIAL SCAM are the crooks at the top, NOT we-the-people.

April 8, 2019

SNIPPET 1:
According to the Federal Reserve’s most recent Financial Accounts quarterly report, corporate demand for stocks, measured as gross repurchases minus share issuance plus M&A, totaled $509 billion last year.

Households were the only other net buyer of stocks (+$191 billion).

Pensions, mutual funds, and foreign investors sold $243 billion, $124 billion, and $94 billion of equities in 2018, respectively.

High equity exposure among major investor categories increases the importance of buybacks as a source of equity demand. Equity allocations for each of the major investor categories are elevated vs. history. Aggregate equity allocation totals 44% across households, mutual funds, pension funds, and foreign investors (86th percentile relative to the past 30 years). In contrast, we estimate that allocation to debt and cash are only at the 39th and 3rd percentiles, respectively.

SNIPPET 2:

So as Goldman turns from a carrot to a stick approach, one can summarize the latest Goldman report by observing that very bad things will happen if Congress proceeds with its intentions to ban buybacks. There is a silver lining: while Goldman previously sided with the generally clueless segment of "financial experts", claiming that the impact of buybacks on stocks is at best muted, now that buyback legislation is becoming an increasingly greater threat by the day, Goldman can finally admit the truth: without buybacks the market will crash.

Full article:

 

Quote
adonisdemilo
So, logic suggests that without buybacks the health and wealth of the Market is a pile of crap.

Quote
fulliautomatix
Goldman talking its book.

Allowing stock buy-backs funded by debt in the age of TBTF is effectively corporations holding the taxpayer to ransom: TBTF means low interest rates, means stable and directed (by corporate, of course) governance and means the rent seeking brought about by the low growth environment is rewarded. Nowhere is there economic growth as a result.

Buy-backs nor funded by borrowing (where you might consult with GS for advice, planning and muppetising) are something different.




 
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 02, 2019, 08:33:15 pm »

Economic Update: Beyond Universal Basic Income
20,244 views


Democracy At Work

Published on Apr 1, 2019

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S9 E13  Beyond Universal Basic Income

On this week's show Prof. Wolff presents an in-depth analysis of UBI shows its advantages over most welfare, safety net systems. An even better alternative would avoid capitalism's unnecessary production of unemployment because it utilizes technical progress (rising productivity) for profits. The alternative benefits workers' leisure rather than profits. It is more democratic and avoids splitting people into unemployed vs employed, non-poor vs poor population.


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Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 01, 2019, 05:23:50 pm »

Public Banking: The Right Solution? (w/ Ellen Brown)
805 views


Thom Hartmann Program

Published on Mar 28, 2019

Public banking is on the rise. Is this the solution to banks in the future.

Ellen Brown from the Public Banking Institute shares her opinion.

Would you move your money to a public bank if there was one close by?

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Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: April 01, 2019, 05:06:52 pm »


Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 28, 2019, 07:57:37 pm »

Economic Update: Fascism: An Analysis for Today
37,886 views


Democracy At Work

Published on Mar 25, 2019

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S9 E12 Fascism: An Analysis for Today

On this week's show Prof. Wolff presents an in-depth analysis of fascism as massive government intervention to protect and save a crashing capitalism. We focus on today's examples, historical parallels (in Germany and Italy), and how "strong men" leaders push fascist agendas. We discuss how fascism and socialism differ and how nationalism serves as fascism's social "disguise. 

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Category News & Politics

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 27, 2019, 04:52:58 pm »


by Tyler Durden

Wed, 03/27/2019 - 16:01

Banks, Big Tech, & Bond Yields Tumble As Fed-Cred Collapses

SNIPPET:

As Fed credibility is well and truly buried  - so what is keeping this chasm alive?


Full article with several eye 👀 opening charts: 

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-27/stocks-bond-yields-tumble

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 25, 2019, 02:51:11 pm »

The Chapwood Index Inspiration 👍👍👍

Quote
Ed Butowsky’s motivation to create the Chapwood Index came from a desire to help people rescue their finances from fixed-income despair after the passing of his mother. Ed’s mother was divorced, and because of the CPI, her alimony payments were under-adjusted. They failed to reflect her actual cost of living percentage increase year in and year out. Slowly, her ability to make ends meet deteriorated, and she was forced to take a job at Saks Fifth Avenue in order to afford birthday gifts for her grandchildren and other necessities. When Ed’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, she suffered through agonizing rounds of chemotherapy and continued working at Saks because she had no other way to meet her financial needs.

How did Butowsky’s mother end up like this?
She fell victim to a fixed income based on the flawed CPI that failed to accurately reflect inflation.  >:(


Agelbert NOTE: EXCELLENT Video AND truth telling website!


The Following Quote from another video Explains WHY the CROOKS in Government PROMOTE MIDDLE CLASS AND POOR TARGETED CURRENCY INFLATION:
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 22, 2019, 08:14:09 pm »

Anand Giridharadas: Are Elites  Really Making the World a Better Place?
75,687 views

 



World Affairs

Published on Oct 24, 2018

In “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World,” Anand Giridharadas compels us to take a deeper look at elite leaders, their institutions, and their initiatives to make the world a better place. “In the very era in which elites have done so much to help, they have continued to hoard the overwhelming share of progress, the average American’s life has scarcely improved, and virtually all of the nation’s institutions, with the exception of the military, have lost the public’s trust.”

Today's elites are some of the more socially concerned individuals in history. Yet, according to Giridharadas, while their philanthropic missions may attempt to reform the root causes of unjust systems, many elite initiatives serve only to maintain the very power structures they claim they want to fix. So, who really benefits? To what extent are the elite working to create real progress and systemic change for people and communities?

Anand Giridharadas was a foreign correspondent and columnist for the The New York Times and currently teaches journalism at New York University. He joins us for an in-depth discussion on elite leaders, how their philanthropic efforts preserve the unjust status quo, and how communities might work together to create a more participatory democracy.

SPEAKER:
Anand Giridharadas
Author

MODERATOR:
Markos Kounalakis
Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution

For more information about this event please visit: http://worldaffairs.org/events/event/...

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Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 22, 2019, 08:09:53 pm »

Anti-Capitalist Chronicles: The Geopolitics of Capitalism (1/2)
6,435 views


Democracy At Work

Published on Mar 21, 2019

Support Anti-Capitalist Chronicles on Patreon! Your support helps us compensate the workers that put an episode together: https://www.patreon.com/davidharveyacc

Help us reach 100,000 subscribers and gain access to more studio time!  Please hit the red SUBSCRIBE button above.

[S1 E09] The Geopolitics of Capitalism - Part 1 of 2

Prof. Harvey explores the geographical movement of capital over time and how it has shaped power relations.

Read a FULL TRANSCRIPT of this episode on our website!
https://www.democracyatwork.info/acc_...

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Prof. Wolff's latest book "Understanding Marxism" http://bit.ly/2BH0lkL
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 22, 2019, 07:16:54 pm »

Billions From Deutsche Bank Despite Trump’s Bankruptcies, Defaults, and Financial Malfeasance
18,632 views


The Real News Network

Published on Mar 20, 2019

The latest developments about Trump's relationship to Deutsche Bank could be the unraveling with Deutsche Bank and Trump facing a serious legal probe on bank fraud by the House Financial Services Committee chaired by Rep. Maxine Waters

Subscribe to our page and support our work at https://therealnews.com/donate.

Category News & Politics

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 22, 2019, 06:43:56 pm »

Venezuela and Socialism – Mailbag with Paul Jay

March 21, 2019

Trump says socialism has proven a failure – Paul Jay joins Taya Graham to discuss viewer comments and questions


https://therealnews.com/stories/venezuela-and-socialism-mailbag-with-paul-jay
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 20, 2019, 12:40:10 pm »


The stock market is the sole reason for the FED's intervention for some time now. If it goes up fine, if not, they intervene and stimulate it to do so. Basically what you have is a positive feed back loop with no end in sight and the consumer, who is clearly NOT the beneficiary of the FED's action, paying the piper and getting the bill through "managed" inflation.

The FED chose to help  crony capitalists, the 1% at the expense of the rest of the nation. >:( THAT was their epic moment of denial and ultimate corruption that cannot be fixed. Everyone knew that massive printing maintained the ethically bankrupt corrupt status quo as far as TBTF went and cemented in place political views that have since become horribly anti-constitutional in their fascist leaning.

The FED is our main economic problem in this country and we're at a point where we cannot contain it without someone facing a ton of pain.

The FED is the main reason there is a us vs them dividing line in this country. They are the ones responsible for this nonsense and it will not end well.


Wall Street dances round its Golden calf, the DOW. Trump, PPT, dictator Ping and all the other suckers can do what they want. It won't help forever. The Question is not if, but only when the bubble will burst.



Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 15, 2019, 08:58:31 pm »

Anti-Capitalist Chronicles: The Conditions of Labor in China
6,099 views


Democracy At Work

Published on Mar 14, 2019

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[S1 E08] The Conditions of Labor in China

Prof. Harvey continues his discussion of the exponential growth of the Chinese economy and particularly its effect on the labor force. 

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Category News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 14, 2019, 10:54:01 pm »

Agelbert NOTE: Why does Kenya grow coffee? NO, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with some "wise" economic decision the Kenyans made. YES, it has EVERYTHING to do with EMPIRE 🦍 .

Richard Wolff Reveals How Empires End
459 views


#MoreFromThom

Thom Hartmann Program

Published on Mar 14, 2019

What is Imperialism?   How do empires end and what is the economics behind the fall of empires and what does this say about the future of America?

Professor Richard Wolff reveals the unexpected truth about imperialism  on the Thom Hartmann program!


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Category
News & Politics
Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 12, 2019, 09:19:57 pm »

MOAR Bombs!  We need MOAR Bombs!

RE



😨 Well, that was a good explanation of the uh, budget.

Here's a pictorial metaphor explaining the message this budget sends to the American Public from TRUMP AND HIS GOP FRIENDS:

Posted by: AGelbert
« on: March 12, 2019, 01:49:30 pm »

Reaganomics was NOT "supply side"; IT WAS A WELFARE QUEEN GIVE AWAY TO THE RICH! Bush, Clinton, Shrub and Obama did not change a thing about that GIVE AWAY. Trump has just MADE IT WORSE!


Good link there agelbert.


https://michael-hudson.com/

Jimmy should have held up the book.  Fort 5 bucks a month Patreon fees he can send a lackey to Barnes and Nobel to get one.  Could have called Uber (I kid about that).  Or had a print shop make a poster of the picture I posted here.  Jimmy gets fees from people watching so he needs to raise a boat or two.  Or three.   He could have splashed it up on the screen while he was talking.  He has to have video software.

But enough bitching about Jimmy.

In …and forgive them their debts, renowned professor of economics, Michael Hudson – and one of the few who could see the 2008 financial crisis coming – takes us on an epic journey through the economies of ancient civilizations. For the past 40 years in conjunction with the Harvard Peabody Museum, he and his colleagues have documented the archeological record and history of debt, and how societies have dealt with (or failed to deal with) the proliferation of debts that cannot be paid. In the pages of …and forgive them their debts, readers will discover shocking historical truths about how debt played a central role in shaping ancient societies. Perhaps most striking of all is that – in a nearly complete consensus of Assyriologists & biblical scholars – the Bible is preoccupied with debt, not sin.

In all eras – from antiquity to the present – debts have tended to mount up faster than the ability of most debtors to pay. That is a basic mathematical fact: Economic growth is arithmetic and can’t keep up with the exponential growth of debt growing at compound interest.

The big economic question is – and has always been – what will happen if debts cannot be paid? Will there be a debt writedown in favor of debtors (as has been done for large corporations), or will creditors be allowed to foreclose (as is always done on personal debtors and mortgage-holders), leading to their political takeover of the assets of the economy – and the government’s public sector?

The problem of debt backlogs was created with the invention of interest-bearing loans in agrarian 3rd Millennium BC Mesopotamia. The remedy of record was the royal Clean Slate proclamation or Jubilee Year of debt forgiveness. These proclamations had three functions: (1) They restored financial balance by annulling the backlog of crop debts that had accrued; (2) they liberated indebted bondservants (and their families); and (3) they restored land tenure rights, enabling debtors to continue living productively on the land, pay taxes, and be available for military service and corvée labor.

Clean Slate debt cancellations (the Jubilee Year), used in Babylonia since Hammurabi’s dynasty, first appear in the Bible in Leviticus 25. Jesus’s first sermon announced that he had come to proclaim it. This message – more than other religious claims – is what threatened his enemies, and why he was put to death.

This interpretation has been all but expunged from our contemporary understanding of the phrase, “…and forgive them their debts,” in The Lord’s Prayer. It has been changed to “…and forgive them their trespasses (or sins),” depending on the particular Christian tradition that influenced the translation from the Greek opheilēma/opheiletēs (debts/debtors). On the contrary, debt repayment has become sanctified and mystified as a way of moralizing claims on borrowers, allowing creditor elites and oligarchs the leverage to take over societies and privatize their public assets, especially in hard times.

Historically, no monarchy or government has survived takeover by creditor elites and oligarchs (viz: Rome). In a time of increasing economic and political polarization, and a global economy deeper in debt than at the height of the 2008 financial crisis, …and forgive them their debts shows what individuals, governments, and societies can learn from the ancient past for restoring economic and social stability today.

Thank you, K-Dog.

The thing about that Jubilee year debt forgiveness in the Bible is interesting. Leviticus, of course, has all the details, including an admonition to not try to game the Jubilee on a indentured servant or slave that is about to be released. But, there is one thing Hudson did not mention. The Law, as given by Moses in the desert, and stated in Leviticus, was given right at the beginning of the wanderings through the desert when they were at that fateful place where they received (twice - the first time things didn't go too well) the 10 Commandments on stone tablets.

Everybody who was over 20 when the Hebrews got cold feet, due to the physical size of the Canaanites they were ordered to invade, was dead after 40 years (except Caleb Joshua and Moses). So, Moses read the Law all over again in Deuteronomy, where the Jubilee is also mentioned.

I don't think Jesus was put to death for the Jubilee Year thing. Remember that he taught the Lord's Prayer to his disciples in private. Whether interpreted as sins, debts or tresspasses, the issue there is a moral one that covers a lot more ground than physical debts. Also, J.C. made a point of telling fellow Jews that they had umpteen commandments that they were forcing people to follow, while they hypocritically did not follow them.  He was not a happy camper about the over 400 plus religious rules the Jews had, although I'm certain He fully approved and celebrated the Jubilee concept, as the Lord's prayer evidences.

J.C. harped on the "Love thy neighbor as thyself" Command as IT, as far as following God's Law was concerned. He made a point of saying that since you cannot see God, because God is Spirit, saying you love and worship God is an empty claim unless this Love of God is evidenced by treating God's Creations, your fellow humans, with the same respect you have for yourself (in so many words).

The head honcho in the Sanedrin (High Priest) demanded that J.C. be put to death becasue J.C. said He was the Son of God, which was blasphemy for a Jew. Of course, that was the cover. The real reason was that most people were following J.C. around, getting healed of this and that, and getting lots of "strange ideas" about the proper behavior of a God fearing person. The Religious leaders were conncerned that, if this kept going on, especially after that huge crowd that followed J.C. (Palm Sunday), many hailing him as their King!, they would lose their easy money, their privileged position and their followers. So, they decided to get rid of the miracle worker by hook and by crook. 

Isaiah Chapter 53 prophesied about J.C.'s death. J.C. did too, more than once. The bottom line for J.C. was that, as the Good Sheperd, He was obligated to lay down his life for his sheep (John 10:11, John 15:12-13)
.
Quote

John 10:11
I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

John 15:12-13
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.




He made a point of saying that since you cannot see God, because God is Spirit, saying you love and worship God is an empty claim unless this Love of God is evidenced by treating God's Creations, your fellow humans, with the same respect you have for yourself.

That is trick! (in the complementary sense).  I like!  I got very excited when I read a similar description which stated that the only way for God to be real is through the expression of love of fellow man.  Beautiful stuff and I have a personal spin. 

If you are God you get to be in low earth orbit anytime you want.  You get to see everything as it really is without any bullshit.  From the human point of view it is bullshit to think God cruising through the atmosphere up there where the air is clear and looking down is going to be pleased with dogfights. 

War and conflict in any form which does not build to goodness lacks complexity, is boring and is of no interest to the most superior entity of all.  Life is about growing and blossoming.  Why else would you create the damn universe!  If it was about destruction he/she would not have set things in motion in the first place.  Life is about becoming and if God is cruising, conflict is of no interest to him/her.  What could God possibly find interesting about conflict?  It destroys.

Mommy/Daddy does not like fighting and it is not so hard to figure out.  Mommy/Daddy wants a clean room and he/she wants to see everybody happily doing their homework.  Taking care of each other.  God sees that and it reflects on he/she and all is good.  It is not so hard to figure this out.  The fights do not amuse so if they don't, what does?  Some people ask that question, some don't, but the question mark really is rhetorical since the answer is obvious.  It was answered in my previous paragraph.

And once that question is answered other questions get natural easy answers.  A concern with doom lies on the side of that which amuses he/she and that which is good.  Concern about your future fellows.  A good thing obviously.  A no-brainer.

Well said.

Always remember the flip side of that argument, as quoted below:

Quote
"if God doesn't exist, then everything is permitted"
 Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

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