Latvia’s Neoliberal War Against Labor and Industry Published in The Contradictions of Austerity: The socio-economic costs of the neoliberal Baltic model Edited by Jeffrey Sommers & Charles Woolfson This article examines how neoliberal policymakers trained in the United States captured Latvia’s economic policy to impose pro-rentier, pro-bank, anti-labor tax and financial policies. Latvia’s national interests... Read More
A Model for Europe and the US?
A generation ago the Chicago Boys and their financial supporters applauded General Pinochet’s anti-labor Chile as a success story, thanks mainly to its transformation of their Social Security into Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) that almost universally were looted by the employer grupos by the end of the 1970s. In the last decade, the Bush... Read More
Austerity’s advocates are declaring victory with Latvia’s battle against the European economic crisis and advocating it as the model for Greece & Spain to emulate. Curiously, Latvians have been declaring this “win” by exiting their country. The “austerians” are celebrating Latvia as the plucky country that through hard work and discipline showed the way out... Read More
Cross posted from the Financial Times by permission of the authors. Michael Hudson and Jeffery Sommers: a distinguished professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee respectively, who have both advised members of Latvia’s government on alternatives to austerity. They are also contributors to the forthcoming book by... Read More
Michael Hudson appears on the Renegade Economists podcast to discuss the motivations behind rating agencies, austerity aiding bankers, the disintegration of the EU and how property bubbles are to blame for so many of the global economy’s problems. Michael Douglas from Wall St: Money Never Sleeps makes a cameo appearance. Listen now Subscribe to the... Read More
What does Norway get out of its Oil Fund, if not More Strategic Infrastructure Investment? For the past generation Norway has supplied Europe and other regions with oil, taking payment in euros or dollars. It then sends nearly all this foreign exchange abroad, sequestering its oil-export receipts – which are in foreign currency – in... Read More
Debt Defaults, Austerity, and Death of the “Social Europe” Model
A spectre is haunting Europe: the illusion that Latvia’s financial and fiscal austerity is a model for other countries to emulate. Bankers and the financial press are asking governments from Greece to Ireland and now Spain as well: “Why can’t you be like Latvia and sacrifice your economy to pay the debts that you ran... Read More
Read more of Jeffrey Sommers and Michael Hudson’s article in The Guardian. The article was also referenced in the NY Times.
Interview with Michael Hudson, Eleftherotypia, Sunday December 12, 2010. 1. A recent article of yours, “Schemes of the Rich and Greedy,” cites the bailouts in Europe among such schemes. What are the main faults with bailouts, and for whom are they designed? The financial sector is trying to get politicians to siphon off money from... Read More
Professor Hudson appeared on the Renegade Economists radio show in Melbourne, Australia last Wednesday. Listen
Neither Devaluation nor Austerity, but Tax Restructuring
A shortened version was published in today’s Financial Times. As Europe’s banking crisis deepens, Greece’s and Spain’s fiscal crisis spreads throughout Europe and the US economy stalls, most discussions of how to stabilize national finances assume that only two options are available: “internal devaluation” – shrinking the economy by cutting public spending; or outright devaluation... Read More
Hudson’s latest interview with Bonnie Faulkner, discussing his recent venture to Latvia amidst Europe’s current troubles. Why have government’s suddenly forgotten how to finance themselves? Hudson on Guns N Butter, June 2010
Michael appears at the 13.40 minute mark.
This is an edited version of The Coming European Debt Wars. Greece is just the first in a series of European debt bombs about to go off. Mortgage debts in the post-communist economies and Iceland are more explosive. Although most of these countries are not in the eurozone, their debts are largely denominated in euros.... Read More
Latvia is being devastated by two global wars. On the geopolitical front is the Cold War’s coup de grâce. Neoliberals have managed to de-industrialize Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union, persuading parliaments to dismantle government support for economic renewal. The “Washington Consensus” has backed a policy of giving away public enterprises and... Read More
Government debt in Greece is just the first in a series of European debt bombs that are set to explode. The mortgage debts in post-Soviet economies and Iceland are more explosive. Although these countries are not in the Eurozone, most of their debts are denominated in euros. Some 87% of Latvia’s debts are in euros... Read More
You Think Greece Has Problems? Latvia’s Road to Serfdom
While most of the world’s press focuses on Greece (and also Spain, Ireland and Portugal) as the most troubled euro-areas, the much more severe, more devastating and downright deadly crisis in the post-Soviet economies scheduled to join the Eurozone somehow has escaped widespread notice. No doubt that is because their experience is an indictment of... Read More
Financial Times (shorter version) Global Research Can Iceland and Latvia pay the foreign debts run up by a fairly narrow layer of their population? The European Union and International Monetary Fund have told them to replace private debts with public obligations, and to pay by raising taxes, slashing public spending and obliging citizens to deplete... Read More
The Oligarchs’ Escape Plan – at the Treasury’s Expense
Global Research The financial “wealth creation” game is over. Economies emerged from World War II relatively free of debt, but the 60-year global run-up has run its course. Finance capitalism is in a state of collapse, and a new wave of credit cannot revive it. A quarter to a third of U.S. real estate has... Read More