30 August 2016

Helen Thompson comments on political economy.

The Coming Crisis: we’re not in Kansas any more. In the surreal world of post-2008 financial markets and monetary policy ‘black swan’ events shouldn't surprise us any more. (25 May 2016)
"The western economic and political world that was in place before 2008 no longer exists and it is not coming back. In retrospect the last supposed boom of the middle years of the first decade of the twenty first century was the death throes of a leviathan roaring out its last fire.  The death of the old western economic and political disorder is in part disguised, at least in the United States, under a swathe of ‘recovery’ statistics which focus on apparent employment shown in payroll data.  But even on the surface of collective life evidence that something is systematically failing bleeds out for easy observation."
What follows is an incisive critique of credit culture in the USA, though it is short on what to do about it. We're so collectively deeply in debt that any attempt to deal with the problem threatens to destroy civilisation.

One thing is clear however. In a world overwhelmed by debt, central banks reducing interest rates to zero is not going to help. Governments are responding to the ongoing crisis as though more borrowing is the answer, which is how we got into this mess. But deleveraging without leaving huge numbers in poverty is a problem that no government has yet turned its mind to, let alone figured out.


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