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Global Capitalism's Terrifying New Math


#1

Global Capitalism's Terrifying New Math

Home Page Author: 
Kate Aronoff

McKinsey, one of the world’s preeminent business consultants, released a sobering new report this week detailing that, worldwide, total debt has risen by 40.1 percent — or $57 billion — since the financial crisis of 2008.


#2

It’s not an ideology of evil bloodsuckers, but of a heartfelt, pragmatic belief that more resources should be controlled by fewer people.

While this is a pretty decent discussion of global debt, I am tempted to believe that the author had a temporary stroke before writing this sentence.

Greed is not an ideology. Those "fewer people" ARE the "evil bloodsuckers" (Are there benevolent bloodsuckers?).

mcp


#3

The problem isn't capitalism so much as the lack of wise public policy to rein it in. Allowing people to pursue their own economic interests to a certain extent makes sense and has shown to be an efficient way of managing economies (the U.S., Europe, China, Japan, etc.) What causes massive problems and exploitation is when public officials become lazy and/or corrupt or blinded by pinheaded ideology, as most have in the U.S. and Europe. The ideologues gain control of major institutions, including the mass media, and turn selfishness into a kind of religion. Why? Because that approach improves their own profit margins. And they invariably lobby for war, war, war because war is the most profitable capitalist activity of all. Let's not make the mistake of advocating the West become a hippie commune with unicorns grazing in the non-GMO fields. But we can advocate sensible, democratic socialist policies that would bring more prosperity to everyone.


#4

The article this one links to say's the debt rose $57 TRILLION, not $57 Billion as stated in the CD article. That's a BIG difference!


#5

"total debt has risen by 40.1 percent — or $57 billion — "

Actually, the linked report says 57 trillion, that's an extra 3 zeroes at the end... which is a little more scary but i guess nobody bothers to check anyway. 57 billion sounds like a huge number for most of us.


#6

In SOME ways all this debt talk is scare mongering. People owe money to other people. With billions of people, we naturally have big numbers to talk about.


#8

The logs in the eye and jam of flotsam rushing downstream and upstream from the tsunami of financial fraud is the very set of metrics called the GDP itself. Its worth revisiting a talk by Vandana Shiva a couple of years ago on this.
Think about it. A "democracy" that measures economic health by excluding the essential human dynamics of life while at the same time excluding the measurement of the aggregating 'price' of that very exclusion. Hence nature continues to be excluded (think CAFOs, mining, fracking etc). This is the colonization model of oikos. It generates a political rationalization of bulldozing by strategy of 'the consummate fact', the most recent blade on that behemoth being 'too big to fail'. It is the KOCH and ALEC strategy and these are bleeding because the ripping at reality MUST ALWAYS be intensified. Why? Part I would submit is the exclusion of the "Precautionary Principle" - something we all KNOW deeep in our bones because it is a constant presence in the healthy human psyche.


#9

Capitalism is a force multiplier for a sliding scale of lawlessness, the more power an entity already has, the more it can take. The system(s) have little to no sensitivity to the natural world and humanity that it feeds on, it behaves like a virus that may kill it's host even if that kills itself. A virus can survive by replicating itself into a new , healthy host, while the previously infected host dies. There is no other Earth for this capitalist virus to infect, so when it takes down it's host, we are all toast. The complex system mirrors the complex system of life, while lacking key attributes for survival, such as the form of awareness known as compassion. Compassion inhibits destructive behavior. Law was intended to be a system to inhibit destructive behavior but has been subverted and lacks the primacy of motivation given by compassion. Capitalism is a Frankenstein monster that must be given a heart.


#10

GDP = God Damned Ponzi


#11

Fascinating symposium from Leipzig late last year. This is a 2 hr with Q&A - for a time when one can kick back and soak it up:
http://www.degrowth.org/back-from-leipzig

Panel “Alliances for degrowth between Global North and South” – Day 3 (4/9/2014, 11am)
- the Degrowth debate. what do we mean by ‘Global South’ in this debate.
- this panel provided several perspectives on Degrowth as a compelling proposal for a globalized emancipation, including both Northern and Southern experiences.

Speakers contributed to respond the following questions:
What does the Degrowth proposal mean for struggles in the Global south? Does it resonate?
Does it give common ground to existing struggles in the South?
Does the Degrowth perspective have the potential to create alliances between emancipatory actors in the global North and in the Global South?
Can the struggles in the Global South intensify the Degrowth perspectives in the global North?

Panel:
Beatriz Rodríguez-Labajos (Autonomous University of Barcelona), deputy coordinator of the EJOLT project (www.ejolt.org),
Indian scholar Ashish Kothari (Kalpavriksh), active in the discussions about the Convention on Biological Diversity and Alberto Acosta (FLACSO Ecuador), former President of the Constitutional Assembly
and former Ministry of Energy and Mining in Ecuador.

– Introductory speech by the chair and introduction of speakers (0:04:13-0:10:42 min)
– Presentation by Beatriz Rodríguez-Labajos (0:10:45- 0:25:28 min)
– Presentation by Ashish Kothari (0:25:50-0:42:16 min)
– Presentation by Alberto Acosta (0:42:52-0:55:56)
– Q&A (0:56:13-2:13:20)


#12

A fascinating court case here in Canada. According to the lawyer who helped bring it to the Federal Court of Canada he has been told that the Government of Canada has issued orders to the media not to report on it.

The Central Bank of Canada was created in 1938 and is 100 percent owned by the People of Canada. Its original mandate was to provide INTEREST free currency within Canada to fund social programs, infrastructure and Government spending. In other words no private banks were involved. Up to 1974 Canada had next to no debt.

In 1974 the Government of Canada entered into an agreement with other western nations wherein all further Government monies would be BORROWED from Investors and bankers and repaid at interest through the issuance of Bonds. This all came about due to the banks claiming that the inflation of the time was due to Governments just printing currency (which was nonsense. It was due to the Oil embargo and the US dollar being taken off the Gold Standard so as to help pay for that war in Vietnam)

Since that time the national debt of Canada has exploded and this has lead to calls for Austerity.

Several Citizens initiated a court case claiming that the Bank of Canada should return to its original mandate and that the the current system of debt issuance violated its mandate. This was heard before a Federal court and they won their case. The Government of Canada has 60 days to appeal.

The lawyer trying this case claims that this has the potential to totally disrupt the current private banking system and the media has been silenced the world over on reporting on this case.

Ellen Brown who has mentioned the old Bank of Canada model and the Bank of North Dakota might find this of great interest.


#13

I'm not sure capitalism is the problem.


#14

Is there any reason why 300 million people can't make the laws by frequent referendums instead of 300 politicians by frequent Wall Street bribes?


#15

You get the old mental gears going of appreciation for proverbs about sand - from single grains to its aggregate properties.
Despite the bombast of the Keiser Report I tend to watch it as an aggregator of headline critique news in financial papers. Today Kerry-anne Mendoza is a guest and author of ‘Austerity: The Demolition of the Welfare State and the Rise of the Zombie Economy’. This past week British banks essentially saying they will charge people for using their money and not make loans. So this begs the rhetorical question - are these 'banks' or an intense colonization spawn of a new and improved speculation based version of 'central banks'?


#16

Sorry, I notice a big mistake in the very first lines of the article: Italy has not been bailed out by the trojka (yet).


#17

Taxing the use of fossil energy is hardly a solution and certainly it is not an equitable one. The divide between rich (who can afford to pay the tax and pollute) and the poor (who will have to find alternatives) will only get deeper. And the 1% will continue to burn fossil fuels like crazy.
If you want to be serious about reducing the use of fossil fuel, you have to ban inefficient technologies.


#18

I prefer RT's Boom Bust.


#19

Yeah - i questioned that too - student debt alone in this country approaches 1 trillion, I think


#20

Whoa! Good stuff! - So how did you find out about this? Where can one go to follow this as it unfolds?


#21

Please provide links or references so that I may explore this! Thank you! no_mouth