Euro SOS

This is a lively discussion on RT which starts from the contrarian perspective of trying to find a silver lining in the Eurozone crisis. One of the panelists is Michael Hudson, who has been a vocal critic of how austerity programs are being used to strip Greece of sovereignity (on top of the minor complication that these programs are certain to fail). It also discusses the prospects for the survival of the euro and who the winners and losers would be in a breakup.

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15 comments

  1. citalopram

    Michael was brilliant. I love how he taught and spoke simple language so that people can understand versus finance speak.

    1. Greg

      They talk to fast for me but it is nice to hear “economists” talk in this universe. The EU is clearly imploding for lack of political will, including the Greek government for not laying it that ultimately they can’t pay off the debt. Just say it. Then we can work out a solution. I’m for a debt jubilee but I live in America and suspect even those who would most benefit from it wouldn’t vote for it. Except for those in the streets of Athens and Paris which leads to abject the failure of the media, business leader, and politicians to tell it straight. I fear this will result in the EU countries, lead by Germany, driving themselves us all off a cliff. Germany has already rejected the prospects of eurobonds, even though that only gets you half to one possible solution, and by ruling it out makes makes a economic devastation more likely than not.

      Note: I know the US lined us up and drove us off the cliff in the first place and continues to make things worse. Just saying it’s a failure of an educated and energized citizenry that is allowing this to happen. The opposite will give us the solution in the long run, if we survive. That’s why I follow this blog and share it with my friends. Unless there is a sharp turning around in popular democracy than I suspect future historians will mark these days as the time when the purveyors of fascism truly achieved their global dream.

  2. solo

    Helpful, saddening discussion. Economist Sommers, declaring a topsy-turvy world of political delusion: The Left (Social-Democratic parties) are parroting the banker’s line of austerity under the Thatcherite claim, There Is No Alternative (to “free market capitalism”–an allusion to the historic failure of socialism of both the Second- and Third Internationals). Sommers even used the correct scientific word for the reigning confusion, viz., “ideology.” (As in ‘belief in Creation Science is ideological; faith based.’) Hudson was even more pessimistic, saying that the Left was Right of the Right. But reporter Lynn was the most pessimistic of all, stating that the political deterioration in Europe all pointed to a renascence of the very hard Right, a.k.a. fascism. –If you are an American Exceptionalist, who thinks that American capitalism provides an alternative reality, recall that Hudson describes the European banking hegemony as following the U.S. model (including hegemony over the central bank); and recall that this country has a growing protofascist movement (Tea Party), ever in the process of co-optation by the political representatives of the corporate elite that the “grassroots” Tea Partiers claim to abhor. (In the scholarly literature on fascism, this nexus is called the “marriage of classes.”) In a word, the evidence seems to indicate that the American Dream (of American Exceptionalism) is merely ideological. –On matters financial, the talk was pretty mainstream: Greece is bound for default, the rats are looting the sinking ship, the “have’s” in Europe will find a way out of their crisis in a way that is profitable, etc. I did not get the impression that they believed that the Eurozone would dissolve; only that it would evolve into something more dictatorial under the slogans of “fiscal union,” etc.

  3. /L

    Hudson as usual nails what’s the core issues.

    The prospect for Europe looks very dark, it’s not only the Euro it’s the entire neo-liberal edifice of the project as it was implemented in the 90s and then the Lisbon 10 year plan in the early 2000.

    Hudson is absolutely right that the old Labour and Social democratic parties have been the worse to ram trough the neo-liberal agenda. The social democrats in Island tried twice to force the Icelandic people to take on the corrupt banks debts. The acting of “socialists” in Greek, Spain and Portugal is beyond belief.

    The European politicians in the trade surplus countries is beyond belief stupendous, they actually believe that they can continue to have foreign surpluses and the foreign deficit countries in the south be able to repay their dept.

    1. Hal

      Perhaps the Socialist parties have always been and
      are truly creatures of Wall Street from
      Lev Bronstein’s aka Trotsky-Brooklyn origins, who
      paid for that sealed train across Germany again,
      to foment the “Peoples Revolution?” to today’s discussion.

  4. chris

    Alice Goodman gives Mao a great line in her libretto for John Adams’ opera “Nixon in China” and although I don’t no if he actually said it (much of the libretto does include actual statements made by the historical characters) it’s a great line: “Occasionally the true Left calls a spade a spade and tells the Left it’s Right.”

    I’m no Maoist. He was a murderous bastard but….

    Hmmmmm….

  5. Hal

    Michael Hudson:

    “The parasite convinces its host to
    act the way it wants it to act”

    That pretty much describes our entire economy today.

  6. PQS

    Yves, caught this in my old fashioned hard copy of the LRB:

    http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n17/john-lanchester/the-non-scenic-route-to-the-place-were-going-anyway

    Another great installment in John Lanchester’s analysis of the Economic Meltdown, which I have found to be one of the most educational series for a layperson like myself. Plus, he has a great sense of humor.

    I did have to disagree with him a bit on this point:

    “The discipline of macro-economics was born out of the study of the Great Depression, in an attempt to understand what had happened and avoid a repetition. That’s why it’s so depressing to see the developed world not just sleepwalking towards another recession, but actively embracing policies which make it more likely.”

    Depressing isn’t the word I would use – more like infuriating or maddening.

  7. RSDallas

    Great clip. Hudson is brilliant! The irony of the discussion is that they are in fact defining the current US governments beliefs towards the US banking system when they speak of the European governments (i.e. Merkel)deciding NOT to let the banks experience a loss despite the general public’s views on the matter.

  8. Susan the other

    Thank you Yves. That clip was so good. Hudson’s take on Merkel explained away alot of my confusion. Graeber’s new spirit of debt remains un-understood by the European private banks too. But others understand as per Hudson’s “Everyone knows governments never pay back their debts!” And the resurgence of the term fascism which I thought was meaningless is in the context of banking fascism. Trotsky lives? The term “fascism” does have currency.

    I keep thinking about one of Fassbinders (sp?) films, I think, where the protagonist, a German, laments that there is no good king to lead them in today’s world.

  9. Charles Wheeler

    Thatcherite deregulation was part of the problem, and couldn’t be part of the solution. Privatisation is just a method of transferring public assets to the same private oligarchy that caused the crisis.

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