KPFA’s Guns and Butter host Bonnie Faulkner interviews economist Michael Hudson, perhaps the most insightful critic of the looter economy in a discussion that’s as apt today as when it was first broadcast on 15 April 2009.
- He begins with a discussion on the Icelandic economic crisis, and the role of what he calls “the financial barbarians at the gate” who are seeking to enforce a neofeudal economy on the world’s nation-states.
- He predicts the United States will do better than Europe, because while the United States acts in its own interests, European leaders act in the interest of the U.S. by waging an economic war against the working class while funneling its investments to the United States while denying fiscal autonomy to its member states.
- “Europe has never really emerged from feudalism,” he says, and Europeans still pay obeisance to their aristocracy — a reality which makes Hudson glad he was born in the U.S.
- The American economy will continue its downward spiral, Hudson predicts, given the Obama administration’s relinquishment of control to the very culprits who brought about the collapse [think Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and economic advisor Robert Rubin].
- He attributes the rise of the private banking sector to the growth of imperial states, which could no longer afford the costs of imperial expansion without money from the private sector, starting with the growth of the financial houses of of the Italian city-states.
- Before the medieval period, governments operated only on the basis of cash on hand in the form of taxes and tribute, and the use of credit financing resulted in a major shift of power from government to the banking sector.
- The power of the financial sector was restrained by regulations imposed as a result of the 1929 crash, but most of the controls have been eliminated in a drive that began with the Reagan administration.
- The American media have largely ignored the scale of fraud perpetrated by the financial sector in the current crisis.
Hudson notes that the financial aristocracy has already won, extracting enough revenue from government to enthrone their aristocracy for at least another century, thanks to the Obama administration’s effective continuance of the policies installed by the Bush crew.
So what about the administration’s new plan to fund massive infrastructure projects concentration on the transportation sector? Here’s Hudson’s evaluation. Read it and weep.
Financial Barbarians at the Gates, Part 1
The other segments follow after the jump.
Financial Barbarians at the Gates, Part 2
Financial Barbarians at the Gates, Part 3
Financial Barbarians at the Gates, Part 4
Financial Barbarians at the Gates, Part 5
Financial Barbarians at the Gates, Part 6