Wednesday, 30 January 2019

New Oil Sanctions on Venezuela: "Would Destroy What's Left of Its Economy"

National Security Advisor John Bolton announced that the US will freeze Venezuelan assets and block oil payments for Venezuelan oil imports to the US. This would not only be illegal, but would also be yet another crippling blow to the country, says CEPR's Mark Weisbrot

Venezuela Gold: Bank of England ‘No Longer Neutral Player’ – Richard Wolff

Economist and co-founder of Democracy at Work Prof. Richard Wolff joins News.Views.Hughes to discuss the freezing of Venezuelan funds in the Bank of England amid the deepening political crisis in Caracas. He says the Bank of England’s decision is a signal to all countries out of step with US interests to withdraw their money, as the Bank has shown itself to be “under the thumb of the United States.” He also opines on the “horrific prospects” of regime change in Venezuela.

“There Will Be No Re-negotiation (on Brexit Deal)” - BBC Newsnight

German politician and chair of the German Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee Norbert Röttgen tells Newsnight that Europe has been absolutely clear - Brexit negotiations will not be re-opened.

Rutger Bregman Tells Davos to Talk about Tax: 'This Is Not Rocket Science'

THE GUARDIAN: Historian berates billionaires at Davos over tax avoidance »

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Wall Streeters Freak Out as Public Demands Higher Taxes on the Élite

Wall Street traders, hedge fund managers, and virtually the entire crop of people who devoted their lives to chasing dollars are freaking out right now as they have no one to turn to in order to preserve their corrupt ways. They can’t rely on Republicans because their policies (like the government shutdown) have harmed their profits, but the Democrats and the public are calling for higher taxes on the wealthy. Wall Street is finally starting to feel the same kind of squeeze that they have put on the public for decades. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.

UK Retirees in EU Will Lose Free Healthcare under No-deal Brexit

THE GUARDIAN: Burden on NHS could increase after 29 March if pensioners return to UK for treatment

British nationals who have retired to EU countries including Spain and France will no longer have their healthcare covered by the NHS in the event of no Brexit deal, the government has said.

The confirmation will come as a blow to around 190,000 British citizens retired in the EU in places such as the Spanish Costas, Provence in France and Tuscany in Italy.

It could also add to the burden on the NHS if pensioners believe they have no option but to return to the UK for treatment. The government has previously admitted it is cheaper to pay Spain and France to look after British nationals than have them fly home.

Currently pensioners can get treatment reimbursed by the NHS under an EU-wide set of reciprocal arrangements. » | Lisa O'Carroll, Brexit correspondent | Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Thursday, 24 January 2019

#WEF19 : Europe after Brexit

No-deal Brexit 'Poses Threat to Global Stability' – CBI Head

THE GUARDIAN: Carolyn Fairbairn warns bosses at Davos that damage caused by disorderly exit could spread far beyond the UK

Fears are growing internationally that a no-deal Brexit poses a threat to the stability of the global economy, the head of Britain’s leading business body has warned.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the CBI, said the failure to sort out Britain’s departure from the European Union was damaging Britain’s brand abroad and had joined a list of systemic risks to the world economy.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Fairbairn said there was mounting concern at the potential for a no-deal Brexit to cause damage well beyond the UK. The CBI held a private breakfast for UK business leaders in Davos attended by the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde. The UK chancellor, Philip Hammond, will address a CBI lunch on Thursday.

Fairbairn told the Guardian: “At my meetings at Davos, there is a recognition that the causes of vulnerability of the global economy now include Brexit.” » | Larry Elliott and Graeme Weardenin Davos | Thursday, January 24, 2019

1929: The Great Depression

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Wales Prepares for No-deal Brexit

The Welsh government today cleared its diary in the assembly for ministers to announce one by one what the impact would be of leaving the EU in 66 days without a deal.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Trump's Economy Is Great for Billionaires, Not for Working People

THE GUARDIAN: Instead of giving tax breaks to billionaires and large corporations, we must demand that they pay their fair share

Donald Trump tells us the US economy is “absolutely booming”, the “strongest we’ve ever had” and “the greatest in the history of America”.

Well, at his Mar-a-Lago country club where the price of admission has doubled to $200,000, he is right. The economy could not be better for the top 1% and corporate America.

In 2017, the top 10 corporate executives in America saw their combined compensation skyrocket by over 60% from the year before soaring to $1.85bn.

The top 25 hedge fund managers on Wall Street made over $15.3bn in compensation in 2017, up 40% from 2016 – the highest in four years. Incredibly, this $15.3bn is nearly double what all 140,000 kindergarten teachers in America made last year.

Not surprisingly, since Trump was elected, the five richest people in America have seen their wealth go up by over $100bn and corporations have announced over $1tn in stock buybacks in 2018 alone.

Yes, under Trump, the economy is “absolutely booming” for the billionaire class and corporate America. But for working families, the economy is not doing so great. » | Bernie Sanders | Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Sunday, 13 January 2019

'Ridiculous': Report Ivanka Trump Could Lead World Bank Meets Scorn

THE GUARDIAN: First daughter’s name said to be ‘floating around Washington’ but it wouldn’t be her first unconventional role

The Financial Times reported on Friday that the name of Ivanka Trump is “floating around Washington” regarding the need for a new president of the World Bank.

The role will soon be open due to the surprise departure of the current president, Jim Yong Kim. But on politics Twitter, at least, the idea that his replacement might be the first daughter met with widespread derision.

“Of all the people in US who could be World Bank President,” tweeted California Congressman Ted Lieu, sarcastically, “the most qualified is Ivanka Trump, who lost her fashion line & happens to be the daughter of @POTUS. I see.” » | Jamiles Lartey in New York | Saturday, January 12, 2019

Friday, 11 January 2019

Global Capitalism: Huge Risks for Economy and Politics - What We Can Expect [Jan 2019]

Germany Prepares for an Economic Downturn

SPIEGEL ONLINE INTERNATIONAL: Clouds are gathering on the horizon of the global economy and the risk of a recession is growing. Many experts believe that the international banking system is unprepared and Germany has begun getting ready for the worst.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is something like a global weather station for the economy, carefully registering even the tiniest of disruptions to the world economic stage. And in the past week, IMF analysts have concluded that a storm is brewing on the horizon.

Its experts carefully register every impulse, and in the past week they've concluded that the forecast is looking increasingly dark. "I see storm clouds building," David Lipton, the IMF's first deputy managing director, recently said in London, adding that the global banking system isn't ready for another downturn. "The work on crisis prevention is incomplete," he said.

The economic outlook is worsening almost by the week. A general consensus among economy experts has emerged that 2019 will be worse for all large national economies than last year. Stock exchanges already began dropping last year, with Germany's blue-chip index DAX losing almost 20 percent of its value in 2018 while the Dow Jones also showed losses. » | Christian Reiermann | Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Monday, 7 January 2019

Britain Is Crippled by Record Personal Debt While the Tories Boast of a Boom

THE GUARDIAN: UK households are taking on more debt than ever to make ends meet. In this climate, rising employment figures mean nothing

With a government torn apart by Brexit and a country falling to pieces because of that government, Conservative MPs have a fallback they sometimes like to use as proof of their success: the UK has record employment levels. It’s a proud badge of honour they wear, fetishising work – it doesn’t matter what that work looks like or how much it pays – because it’s supposedly a sign that the economy is doing well. The thing is, people might be in work, but they’re also in debt. » | Maya Goodfellow | Monday, January 7, 2019

Friday, 4 January 2019

Fat Cat Friday Should Shatter the Myth That Britain’s Bosses Deserve Their Pay

THE GUARDIAN: Top executives now earn 133 times more than the average worker. They can no longer rationalise this growing inequality

Please raise a glass – if you’re not doing Dry January, of course – to our nation’s exceptionally talented CEOs and their superhuman work ethic and skills. For the average executive to have earned the equivalent of a worker’s average annual salary by 4 January is surely testament to an unimaginable amount of hard work and graft. They must truly deserve the 11% hike in their salaries since last year, unlike millions of good-for-nothing slackers like nurses and teachers who have endured years of stagnating pay. » | Owen Jones | Friday, January 4, 2019

Thursday, 3 January 2019

The Wall Street Crash of 1929

This BBC documentary from 2009 takes a fresh view of the 'Crash of 1929' and the subsequent global Depression, comparing aspects of that event with the most recent turbulence in 2008. Uploaded for educational purposes only. Any advertising that appears is unbidden.

Roubini Warns of 'Perfect Storm' for US Economy in 2020

Sep.18, 2018 -- Nouriel Roubini, chairman at Roubini Macro Associates and a professor at NYU Stern School of Business, explains why he sees a U.S. economic slowdown in 2020. He speaks on "Bloomberg Surveillance."

Steve Keen Says US Heading for 2020 Recession

Sep.19, 2018 -- Steve Keen, professor of economics at Kingston University, discusses inequality, Federal Reserve policy, house prices and the U.S. economy. He speaks on "Bloomberg Surveillance."