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This is the lecture I would have given if I had been able to accept the invitation to address the St. Petersburg Economic Conference in Russia this weekend. Executive Summary: From the standpoint of Russia’s dilemma, this is an important column. Putin’s partial impotence via-a-vis Washington is due to the grip that neoliberal economics exercises... Read More
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Introduction Nero played his fiddle, Obama shot baskets and Trump twittered while their empires burned. What makes empires decay and what makes empires expand has everything to do with their relations between rulers and the ruled. Several factors are decisive. These include: (1) rent, land and housing, (2) the direction of living standards, (3) the... Read More
Readers ask me how they can learn economics, what books to read, what university economics departments to trust. I receive so many requests that it is impossible to reply individually. Here is my answer. There is only one way to learn economics, and that is to read Michael Hudson’s books. It is not an easy... Read More
Like many others, I first heard about the work of the late Hans Rosling through his TED lectures, in which his animated bubbles (nations over the decades shown as bubbles proportional to population size, rising or falling against some criterion, such as lifespan) revealed the mostly good news about human progress across the world. The... Read More
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The West’s Finance-Capitalist Road
May 5-6, 2018 Lecture Second World Marxism Conference Peking University, School of Marxist Studies Volumes II and III of Marx’s Capital describe how debt grows exponentially, burdening the economy with carrying charges. This overhead is subjecting today’s Western finance-capitalist economies to austerity, shrinking living standards and capital investment while increasing their cost of living and... Read More
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The history of debt cancellation and Jesus's economic justice activism 
Left Out, a podcast produced by Paul Sliker, Michael Palmieri, and Dante Dallavalle, creates in-depth conversations with the most interesting political thinkers, heterodox economists, and organizers on the Left. The Hudson Report is a new weekly series produced by Left Out with the legendary economist Michael Hudson. Every episode we cover an economic or political... Read More
In her new book, Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World, Nomi Prins remembers how the 9/11 attacks affected her. She was, at the time, working for Goldman Sachs (which has been sending key former employees directly into top government posts ever since, most recently, of course, Steven Mnuchin as Donald Trump’s Treasury secretary). Before... Read More
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Making the Fed an Instrument for Disaster
Warning: What you are about to read is not about Russia, the 2016 election, or the latest person to depart from the White House in a storm of tweets. It’s the Beltway story hiding in plain sight with trillions of dollars in play and an economy to commandeer. While we’ve been bombarded with a litany... Read More
Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep . . . It starts at 6:30 AM and, together with numerous other stressful construction noises, goes through breakfast, lunch, cocktail hour and dinner. In south Walton county, construction crews are permitted to work from 7 AM until 7 PM six days a week Monday through Saturday. Residents miss the... Read More
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The Deep Meaning of the French Railroad Strikes
The current series of railroad strikes in France are portrayed in the media as “labor unrest”, a conflict between the government and trade union leaders, or as a temporary nuisance to travelers caused by the self-interest of a privileged category of workers. In Anglo-American media, there is the usual self-satisfied tongue-clicking over “those cheese-eaters, always... Read More
The Federal Reserve recently increased interest rates to 1.75 percent. This is the highest interest rates have been since 2008, but it still leaves rates at historic lows. While the Fed says economic growth justifies future rate increases, an honest examination of the economy suggests that future rate increases are unlikely. The Fed’s claim that... Read More
Introduction During his recent visit to New Hampshire on 3/20/18, President Trump declared once again that the US is facing a ‘drug epidemic’. This time he advocated the death penalty for criminal drug dealers as the solution to a national crisis that has killed over 1 million Americans since the 1990’s (when the blockbuster prescription... Read More
Introduction US Presidents, European leaders and their academic spokespeople have attributed China’s growing market shares, trade surpluses and technological power to its “theft” of western technology, “unfair” or non-reciprocal trade and restrictive investment practices. President Trump has launched a ‘trade war’, - raising stiff tariffs, especially targeting Chinese exports – designed to pursue a protectionist... Read More
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"This is a Game We Can Win"
In 2003 I congratulated a young Chinese banker on his country’s accession to the WTO, cautioning that the trade body was a Western ideological post-Cold War creation designed not merely to enshrine export-oriented development models but to advance neoliberal trade norms. After a moment’s reflection he responded, “I agree with your view of the WTO’s... Read More
Photo by Francisco Osorio | CC BY 2.0
Thank God for the corporate media. If it wasn’t for them, and the ADL, I’d have probably never discovered that I’m a Nazi. Apparently, I’ve been one for quite some time … which is weird, as I had no idea. Here I was, naively believing that I’d been writing about global capitalism and the realignment... Read More
The Hudson Report
Left Out, a podcast produced by Michael Palmieri, Dante Dallavalle, and Paul Sliker, creates in-depth conversations with the most interesting political thinkers, heterodox economists, and organizers on the Left. We're excited to announce our new weekly series called The Hudson Report with the legendary economist Michael Hudson. Every episode we'll pick Professor Hudson's brain for... Read More
From John Williams proprietary report: “Subject to Likely Downside Annual Benchmark Revisions this Coming Friday, February Industrial Production Jumped by 1.1% (0.9% Net of Revisions), Reflecting improbable Strength in Manufacturing and Mining. “Despite this perhaps premature report of industrial production gains, Given a Record 122 Months of Non-Expansion, Manufacturing Still Holds Shy of Its Pre-Recession... Read More
SHARMINI PERIES: It's The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or known as the OECD, predicted on Tuesday that Trump's tariffs on aluminum and steel imports could initiate a wave of protectionism and slow global economic growth. The tariffs have already spurred various... Read More
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In the turbulent times of Trump, it seems like an eternity, but last week, Gary Cohn, the president’s chief economic advisor, resigned from his position. President Trump had asked “Cohn directly” if he could be relied on to help implement tariffs. Cohn said no, by Bloomberg Politics’ telling. Hours later, he was out. Asked and... Read More
President Trump’s planned 25 percent tariff on steel imports and 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports may provide a temporary boost for those industries, but the tariffs will do tremendous long-term damage to the American and global economies. Tariffs raise the price of, and reduce demand for, imported goods. Tariffs ensure the preferences of politicians,... Read More
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Trump’s series of threats this week was a one-two punch. First, he threatened to impose national security tariffs on steel and aluminum, primarily against Canada and Mexico (along with Korea and Japan). Then, he suggested an alternative: He would exempt these countries IF they agree to certain U.S. demands. But these demands make so little... Read More
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US economy added 313,000 jobs in the 28 days of February, causing a big jump in the Dow Jones average. Where does BLS find these jobs? The BLS finds 61,000 in construction, which, if correct, suggests in view of falling new and existing home sales, that those... Read More
Americans live a never-never-land existance. The politicians and presstitutes make sure of that. Consider something as simple as the unemployment rate. The US is said to have full employment with a January 2018 unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, down from 9.8 percent in January 2010.https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000 However, the low rate of unemployment is contradicted by the... Read More
From Lincoln to William McKinley to Theodore Roosevelt, and from Warren Harding through Calvin Coolidge, the Republican Party erected the most awesome manufacturing machine the world had ever seen. And, as the party of high tariffs through those seven decades, the GOP was rewarded by becoming America's Party. Thirteen Republican presidents served from 1860 to... Read More
SHARMINI PERIES: It's The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries coming to you from Baltimore. President Trump presented his infrastructure plan on Monday. The long-awaited plan proposes to spend $200 billion in federal funds over the next 10 years. This is to be complemented with another 1.3 trillion in spending from cities, states, and private... Read More
For many decades the Federal Reserve has rigged the bond market by its purchases. And for about a century, central banks have set interest rates (mainly to stabilize their currency’s exchange rate) with collateral effects on securities prices. It appears that in May 2010, August 2015, January/February 2016, and currently in February 2018 the Fed... Read More
On February 6 PCR asked if the Plunge Protection Team had stepped in and prevented a stock market correction by purchasing equity index futures. enough, the daily exchange volume chart shows an increase in futures activity on February 2 with sharp increases on Feb. 5th and 6th. Those are the days when the stock market... Read More
After the extraordinary sudden loss in equity values, today (2-6-18) brought gains back to the stock indices. What happened? Did the market sneeze, cough, or was something misread and today perceived in a different light? In my opinion this is what happened: The Plunge Protection Team, as they have done on previous equity market drops,... Read More
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The Next Financial Crisis -- Not If, But When
There’s been lots of fire and fury around Washington lately, including a brief government shutdown. In Donald Trump’s White House, you can hardly keep up with the ongoing brouhahas from North Korea to Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation, while it already feels like ages since the celebratory mood over the vast corporate tax cuts Congress passed... Read More
There’s no way to measure just how cheery this period really is -- not if you’re the CEO of a major company. Just as the World Economic Summit was opening in Davos, Switzerland, and President Donald Trump was flying in to put his mark on the moment, PwS, a global consulting firm, released its annual... Read More
Last week the Senate confirmed Jerome Powell as Federal Reserve Chairman by a vote of 84-13. This is in contrast to the contentious debates and closer votes over Janet Yellen’s confirmation in 2014 and Ben Bernanke’s confirmation for a second term in 2010. Powell benefited from a perception that the economy’s recovery from the 2007-08... Read More
The prophets and forecasters for the coming year have already set out their global vision ranging from rising economies to catastrophic global wars. I want to argue from a different perspective, focusing on the increasing subdivision of markets, the deepening autonomy of political action from economic development, the greater threat of military interventions and increasing... Read More
One of the great tragedies of our time is the abandonment of the working class by the white liberal/progressive/left. No longer is the victim group the working class and the victimizers Wall Street, the big banks and the capitalists. Today the victimizer is the white working class, and the victim group is everyone else. Somehow... Read More
Should We Build a Wall to Keep Them Out?
In the past couple of weeks, thanks to the president’s racist comments about Haiti and African countries he can’t even name -- remember “Nambia”? -- as well as the stamp of approval he awarded future immigrants from Norway, we’ve seen a surprising amount of commentary about that fortunate country. Let me just say: those Norwegians... Read More
Camden Tent City, 2009
Indoctrinated for decades by relativism, we’re supposed to consider all life styles equal and never pass judgments. There must be legitimate reasons for a culture to embrace, for example, child marriage, bride kidnapping, female circumcision, Oprah Winfrey, or universal, all day long access to pornography. Shit, though, is a hard sell, thus open sewers or... Read More
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America's greatest strategic mind of global recognition, Alfred Thayer Mahan, in his seminal work The Influence of Sea Power upon History saw the World Ocean and activity in it as the foundation for national greatness and power. The pivot of this greatness was a powerful navy. Through Mahan, the Theory of Navalism reached American elites... Read More
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The idea of annulling debts nowadays seems so unthinkable that most economists and many theologians doubt whether the Jubilee Year could have been applied in practice, and indeed on a regular basis. A widespread impression is that the Mosaic debt jubilee was a utopian ideal. However, Assyriologists have traced it to a long tradition of... Read More
Republished with permission from The International Economy
For a decade central banks have printed enormous quantities of new money. The excuse is to stimulate the economy by reviving inflation. However, the money has, for the most part, driven up the prices of financial assets instead of consumer and producer prices. The result has been a massive increase in the inequality of income,... Read More
Outlook for the 1% (and the Democratic Party split), 2018
Low interest rates, "quantitative easing," and the mitigation of antitrust laws led to more mergers and acquisitions in 2017, but that's only going to fuel greater wealth inequality and tighten the corporate grip on the political system, explains economist Michael Hudson. GREGORY WILPERT: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Gregory Wilpert coming to you... Read More
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As we move into 2018, I am swinging away from the Republicans. I don’t support the Paul Ryan “Better Way” agenda. I don’t support neoliberal economics. I think we have been going in the wrong direction since the 1970s and don’t want to continue going down this road. Opioid Deaths: As we all know, the... Read More
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A sense of betrayal seems to lie just behind today’s political discourse—a feeling of being left behind, a suspicion that those at the top, in media, corporations, politics, academia, and finance, have motives and goals at odds with those of the broader population. Put simply, Americans of all backgrounds fear and loathe a hostile elite.... Read More
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Class Struggle and Imperial Wars as the Motor Force of US History
Introduction The American welfare state was created in 1935 and continued to develop through 1973. Since then, over a prolonged period, the capitalist class has been steadily dismantling the entire welfare state. Between the mid 1970’s to the present (2017) labor laws, welfare rights and benefits and the construction of and subsidies for affordable housing... Read More
Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands. The U.S. got clobbered. Three category 4 or 5 Atlantic hurricanes of startling intensity, a record for any single season, whacked the country. Records were also set for rainfall and destruction. Two of those mega-storms, Irma and Maria, their power intensified by waters growing ever warmer thanks to... Read More
Greeting Climate-Change Victims With a Man-Made Dystopia
When I first talked to the three Honduran men in the train yard in the southern Mexican town of Tenosique, I had no idea that they were climate-change refugees. We were 20 miles from the border with Guatemala at a rail yard where Central American refugees often congregated to try to board La Bestia (“the... Read More
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Shake Up and Shake Down
Introduction Major changes are roiling the states, societies and ruling classes of the biggest industrial economies, oil regimes and military complexes. China is re-allocating its economic wealth toward building the most extensive modern infrastructure system in history, linking four continents. Saudi Arabia is transferring a trillion dollars of pillage from princes to princes, from old... Read More
West Scranton, 2017
On Thanksgiving, I came to Scranton to stay with a 65-year-old friend who’s going through a cage fight kind of divorce, though only one side is dishing out the sharp elbows and knees. Just hearing Christmas music at the Dollar Store was driving him mad, Chuck confessed. The four-hour bus ride from Philly stopped in... Read More
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Introduction to the German Edition
In theory, the global financial system is supposed to help every country gain. Mainstream teaching of international finance, trade and “foreign aid” (defined simply as any government credit) depicts an almost utopian system uplifting all countries, not stripping their assets and imposing austerity. The reality since World War I is that the United States has... Read More
Or Putting Your Mouth Where Your Money Isn’t
Among the stranger features of the 2016 election campaign was the success of Donald Trump, a creature of globalization, as an America First savior of the white working class. A candidate who amassed billions of dollars by playing globalization for all it was worth -- he manufactured clothes and accessories bearing his name in low-wage... Read More
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Some Stuff Worth Knowing
For Americans concerned about Mexico and Mexicans, and what sort of wights they be, a little history may help. We seem to know almost nothing about a bordering nation of 130 million. It is not what most of us think it is. It is certainly not what the Loon Right would have us believe. For... Read More
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"If the tax reform bill goes through, do you plan to increase your company's capital investment?" The question was posed to a sizeable group of CEOs at The Wall Street Journal's CEO Council, in the presence of White House economic adviser Gary Cohn. A pitiful show of hands failed to wipe the smirk off Mr.... Read More
Category Classics
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?
The sources of America’s immigration problems—and a possible solution