My Big Fat Greek Debt

By: Friday January 30, 2015 7:00 pm

Alexis Tsipras is the newly elected Prime Minister of Greece since 26 January 2015. One of the young leftwing radicals of the Syriza party, Alexis Tsipras is sweeping away the age of austerity. He made good on his promises to voters in a startling fashion:

One by one they were rolled back, blitzkrieg-style, mercilessly, ruthlessly, with rat-a-tat efficiency. First the barricades came down outside the Greek parliament. Then it was announced that privatisation schemes would be halted and pensions reinstated. And then came the news of the reintroduction of the €751 monthly minimum wage. And all before Greece’s new prime minister had got his first cabinet meeting under way. {more}


Vice President Biden Visits Ukraine to Show Support

By: Friday November 21, 2014 2:02 pm

In an event today in Ukraine Vice President Joe Biden stood next to Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko to announce, on the one year anniversary of the overthrow of the previous government, that the US would continue its commitment to the ruling group in Kiev. The US supported the overthrow of the former Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovich, and now has promised to stand behind the new government, for now.

Biden said he had spoken to President Obama about US continued support and the threat posted by Russia.

China To Become World’s Leading Economy This Year

By: Wednesday April 30, 2014 2:25 pm

Can we finally write off neoliberalism as a bad idea? Due to alterations in how the World Bank calculates wealth China is set to surpass the United States as the world’s largest economy this year. Previous predictions imagined China overtaking the US in the next decade.

Is TPP Even a Trade Deal?

By: Friday November 15, 2013 2:20 pm

Opposition does seem to be mounting to TPP, the question remains as to whether it is enough to stop the deal. This is when activism matters the most.

Deciphering Greece

By: Thursday November 14, 2013 5:00 pm

It’s hard work getting the news from the news these days, especially if you want to know about a country like Greece. Far-away birthplace of democracy, a bit exotic, Mediterranean lifestyle, Zorba, rumored to be different. What does any of that mean? Strange things are happening there but what is going on precisely? The Greeks ran up quite a tab at the bar, or so the financial dailies tell us on a regular basis.

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Robert Kuttner, Debtors’ Prison: The Politics of Austerity Versus Possibility

By: Saturday May 4, 2013 1:59 pm

Robert Kuttner’s Debtors’ Prison ties together many of the individual fights progressives are battling over into a general argument for why our economy is broken 5 years after the Great Recession began. There are those fighting both Republicans and some Democrats on topics ranging from austerity to foreclosure relief and financial sector accountability, while there are fellow activists in Europe fighting against the European Central Bank’s policy of tight money and anti-democratic takeovers of local policy.

Fallout Continues From Discovery of Major Flaws in Key Austerity Paper

By: Friday April 26, 2013 11:15 am

Academia remains incredulous as evidence accumulates that the Reinhart-Rogoff paper that underwrote much of the intellectual justification for austerity economics omitted important data and contained severe Excel errors. Some are calling it a technical knockout of austerity economics, handing victory to the anti-austerity faction of economists.

Austerity Economics Takes a Major Blow as Key Research Paper Discredited

By: Friday April 19, 2013 8:18 am

A paper by Kenneth Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart entitled Growth In A Time Of Debt became the intellectual backbone for the austerity movement/plutocrats and their apparatchiks in Washington and elsewhere. Now a graduate student has discovered a major excel error in Rogoff and Reinhart’s research which skewed the data to support their thesis and found that when that error was corrected their data actually supported the contrary view.

IMF: Fight Climate Change by Ending Subsidies to Fossil Fuel Industry

By: Monday April 1, 2013 9:25 am

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has a new report out claiming that fossil fuel is “mispriced” and that eliminating subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and adding carbon taxes could cut greenhouse gases by 13 percent.

“Energy subsidies are pervasive and impose substantial fiscal and economic costs in most regions.
On a pre- tax basis, subsidies for petroleum products, electricity, natural gas, and coal reached $480 billion in 2011(0.7 percent of global GDP or 2 percent of total government revenues). The cost of subsidies is especially acute in oil exporters, which account for about two thirds of the total. On a post-tax basis which also factors in the negative externalities from energy consumption — subsidies are much higher at $1.9 trillion (2½ percent of global GDP or 8 percent of total government revenues). The advanced economies account for about 40 percent of the global post-tax total, while oil exporters account for about one third. Removing these subsidies could lead to a 13 percent decline in CO2 emissions and generate positive spillover effects by reducing global energy demand.”

Are BRICS Agreements Signal of the Future Downfall of US Hegemony?

By: Tuesday March 26, 2013 2:55 pm

I think these nations are going to be competing with the World Bank and IMF very shortly and may well offer an alternative to the forced austerity. I think the situation on Cyprus could play out much differently if the Cypriots had an alternative to the Euro Finance Ministers requirements for a bailout.

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