(Article changed on May 13, 2013 at 14:00)
causes as well as the devastating consequences of our approaching/ongoing economic
crisis are carefully scrutinized in this anthology, by way of contributions
from economist Michael Hudson, Mike Whitney, Ellen Brown, Peter Dale Scott,
Peter Phillips, Fred Magdoff, James Petras, Andrew Gavin Marshall, Michel
Chossudovsky and others.
diversity of viewpoints and perspectives presented within this volume, all of
the contributors ultimately come to the same conclusion: Humanity is entering, or on
the verge of entering, the most serious economic and social crisis in modern
of this anthology begin by observing that in all major regions of the world,
the ongoing economic recession/slump/crisis/depression is deep-seated, and is resulting in:
a) ever more massive unemployment,
b) the collapse of ever more state social programs, and
impoverishment of ever more millions of people.
worrisome, this virtually worldwide economic crisis is accompanied by a
worldwide move toward militarization, a "war without borders," led by the
United States of America and its NATO allies.
The conduct of the Pentagon's "long war" seems to be intimately related
to this restructuring of the global economy.
of financial markets in 2008-2009 was the result of institutionalized fraud and
financial manipulation. The "bank
bailouts" were implemented on the instructions of Wall Street, leading to the largest transfer of money/wealth in recorded
history, while simultaneously creating insurmountable public indebtedness,
on which debt we the taxpayers must annually make exorbitant and crippling interest
worldwide deterioration of living standards and plummeting consumer spending,
the entire structure of international commodity trade is potentially in
jeopardy. The payments system of money
transactions is in disarray. Following
the collapse of employment, the payment of wages is disrupted, which in turn
triggers a downturn in expenditures on necessary consumer goods and services. This dramatic plunge in purchasing power takes
its toll on the productive system, resulting in strings of layoffs, plant
closures and bankruptcies. Exacerbated
by the freeze on credit, the decline in consumer demand contributes to the
demobilization of human and material resources. --Michel Chossudovsky and Andrew Gavin
1. We are at
the crossroads of the most serious economic crisis in world history, and this
economic crisis has by no means reached its climax. Rather it is deepening, with the risk of
seriously disrupting the structures of international trade and investment.
distinct in this particular phase of the crisis is the ability of the financial
giants -- through stock market manipulation as well as through their overriding
control over credit -- not only to create havoc in the production of goods and
services, but also to undermine and destroy large and
well established business corporations.
is far more serious than the Great Depression. All major sectors of the global economy are
affected. Factories keep closing down. Assembly lines are coming to a standstill. Unemployment is rampant. Wages have collapsed. Entire populations are being forced into
abysmal poverty. Livelihoods are destroyed. Public services are being disrupted or
Chossudovsky, Chapter I.
2. Much attention has rightly been paid to the
techniques whereby mortgages were packaged together and then sliced and diced
and sold to institutional investors around the world. Outright fraud was most probably involved in many
of these financial shenanigans. The
falling home values following the bursting of the housing bubble, and the
inability of many sub-prime mortgage holders to continue to make their monthly
payments, together with the resulting foreclosures, all combined to break the
camel's back, leading to this catastrophic system failure. --John
Bellamy Foster and Fred Magdoff, Chapter II
3. Among almost all conventional economists,
pundits, investment advisors and various and sundry experts and economic
historians, there is a common faith that in the long-run, the stock market will
recover, the recession will end and the government will withdraw from the
economy, giving it freedom to take off. However,
fixed on notions of past cyclical patterns and historical trends, these
analysts lose sight of the present realities which have no precedent:
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