Category Archives: Guest Blogger

‘Control Fraud’ – Corrupt Bankers Do It, Congress Ignores It

The bipartisan shellacking Senators gave John Stumpf, the Wells Fargo CEO, last week made for great television, but did nothing about the real scandal: Our government continues to look the other way as many top bankers thumb their noses at fraud laws.

There is a term for the criminality that infects our biggest banks and damages the economy, and there is a solution to this problem. But there is also an obstacle.

Read more of David Cray Johnston’s post: ‘Control Fraud’ – Corrupt Bankers Do It, Congress Ignores It | Investopedia

JMK Writings Project

jmkpProfessor Rod O”Donnell is currently engaged in preparing a major edition of the remaining unpublished writings of JM Keynes, of which there remains a HUGE quantity of valuable material scattered across many archives in several countries. Since standard sources of funds for this kind of research have dried up, he has turned to crowdfunding.


OVERALL AIM:  To complete the publication of ALL of Keynes’s unpublished writings of academic significance. Only about ONE THIRD were published in the Royal Economic Society edition. Continue reading

Is the euro a foreign currency for peripheral Eurozone (EZ) countries? – Part 2

By Ignacio Ramirez Cisneros

Some considerations on the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) latest assessment on the handling of the euro crisis.

Part II

If decisive large scale interventions on the part of the Eurosystem would have been enough to quell financial panic –along with the strategic functioning of the EZ large transactions payment platform, Target2, allowing capital repatriation by core EZ financial agents- the IMF should not have had a role in the crisis resolution process to begin with. The IMF is brought in when a country is in need of foreign reserves to bridge temporary difficulties in the balance of payments or when debt restructuring is imperative. The first case does not apply to any of the main three EZ countries that turned to the IMF for assistance, since the large majority of capital outflows were to EZ partners, and in any case almost all liabilities were euro denominated.  Continue reading

Is the euro a foreign currency for peripheral Eurozone (EZ) countries?

By Ignacio Ramirez Cisneros

Some considerations on the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) latest assessment on the handling of the euro crisis.

Part I

The most recent IEO assessment of the IMF’s role in the lending and structural adjustment programs in Greece, Ireland and Portugal (and Cyprus) makes reference to a past held belief within the IMF ‘that large current account imbalances were little cause for concern [for the IMF], and sudden stops could not happen within a currency union that issues a reserve currency’ (IEO 2016, 46). In the document, it is made clear that this understanding of EZ financial realities was mistaken given all the financial and economic turmoil since 2010.

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Three Tales of Rigged Elections: The Narratives of The Political Revolutionary, The Billionaire, the Ballot Bandit, and the Corporate Media

By Payam Sharifi

An oft repeated phrase you hear every election cycle is that “this is (one of) the most important elections in our lifetime”.  This is usually said within the context of competing and (supposedly) incommensurable policy positions, during a (supposedly) rare moment of crisis that will transform American policy at home and abroad for at least four years.  Yet this phrase has, much to my surprise, not been said once by anyone in the media or among the social media groups that celebrate either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.  Instead, it is characterized as a historical moment where the threat of a neo-fascism in the form of Donald J. Trump must be stopped.

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By Geoffrey Gardiner

Jurists have demonstrated that every right must have a corresponding duty, or it is worthless.

The same is true of financial assets: for every creditor there has to be a debtor.

Money is assignable debt. The debt should be negotiable, that is it can be transferred to another owner without reference to the knowledge of the debtor.

There are primary debt and secondary debt. An example of primary debt is when a borrower draws down a bank loan by making a payment to someone. That someone pays the money received into a bank account, thus creating the credit which finances the loan. New money has been created.

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State of Thieves

By Deirdre N.  McCloskey
University of Illinois at Chicago

Nearly as published, Wall Street Journal, Saturday, Feb 28, 2015

The theme of Sarah Chayes’s “Thieves of State” is that corruption can’t be ignored as a source of international instability.  The injustice of it enrages people.  Corruption thus becomes “an important driver of conflict worldwide,” as Ms. Chayes puts it.  “Abusive government corruption prompts extreme responses and thus represents a mortal threat to security.”  Ms. Chayes, who in her seven years in Afghanistan worked as a reporter for National Public Radio, as an NGO administrator and as an advisor to Gen.  Stanley McChrystal, witnessed programs against corruption initiated by the NGOs, NATO, and the U.S.  Army fail and fail again, co-opted by the Karzai brothers and worse.  She tells the story of what happened in Afghanistan brilliantly, and compares her experience there with the current corruption in Egypt, Russia and the dismal rest.  In all of these places, the officials extract money from the system, the citizens cheat the system, and the business interests co-opt the system.  It’s an old story, from the corrupt judges the prophet Amos blasted to the love-besotted governor in squeaky-clean Oregon.

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Senator Bernie Sanders presents Tcherneva’s research to Show How Reagan Helped Destroy the Middle Class

By Michael McAuliff
(cross posted from Huff Post)

WASHINGTON — President Ronald Reagan remains a venerated figure in American politics, even as folks on the left have been taking a more critical look at his economic legacy in recent years.

So perhaps it’s not a surprise that Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders would not think well of the Gipper. But when Sanders took to the Senate floor Thursday evening to offer a broad vision for how to do something to help the declining middle class, he offered a stunning chart that showed just how poorly most Americans have fared during economic recoveries since the advent of Reaganomics.

The chart starts by showing that in the decades after World War II, the bottom 90 percent of the country captured most of the growth in income during rebounds from tough times. But then came the Reagan era, and what George H. W. Bush once dubbed “voodoo economics.” After Reagan implemented his policies, the top 10 percent grabbed nearly 80 percent of the growth in incomes coming out of the oil crises of the late ‘70s.

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Getting Out of Our Lanes: Understanding Discrimination in the Digital Economy

By Raúl Carrillo

In the fall of 2013, on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Ohio State University Law Professor Michelle Alexander penned a brilliant essay in The Nation, entitled “Breaking My Silence¨. In the piece, Alexander, author of the groundbreaking book, The New Jim Crow, urged social justice advocates to get out of our “lanes” and “do what Dr. King demanded we should: connect the dots between poverty, racism, militarism and materialism.”

In this spirit, I am writing to encourage readers to take up yet another task, one I’ve unfortunately only recently shouldered myself: to understand how digital surveillance reinforces socioeconomic hierarchies.

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The Politics of MMT (Strange Bedfellows)

By Jonathan Denn

There are the cut-and-dried facts, about how money actually works, which MMT succinctly explains—that those who were unaware—seem to readily grasp.

  1. The US is the issuer of currency not just currency users like households, towns, businesses and US States.
  2. If a country has a marvelous productive capacity, a free floating sovereign currency, and little to no debt denominated in foreign funds—then there is no external reason it cannot spend regardless of taxing or borrowing.
  3. The last seven US depressions were preceded by seven rare public surpluses.
  4. A public deficit is a non public surplus, which means a private surplus after taking into account what leaked overseas.
  5. A private surplus is the point of a prosperous nation, as long as it doesn’t cause hyperinflation.
  6. Banks create money, too. But since it usually has to paid back someday, those dollars are temporary.

The conclusion is that the US is the monopoly issuer of net financial assets. So, given a stable foreign trade balance the only way the private sector can grow is with increased government spending, asset appreciation (inflation), people spending out of savings, or people/businesses borrowing (temporarily) from banks.

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