The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly both recently denied that the Federal Reserve’s policies create economic inequality. Unfortunately for Powell, Daly, and other Fed promoters, a cursory look at the Fed’s operations shows that the central bank is the leading cause of economic inequality. The Federal Reserve manipulates the... Read More
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The imposition of the nationwide lockdowns required elite consensus. There's no way that a project of that magnitude could have been carried out absent the nearly universal support of establishment elites and their lackeys in the political class. There must have also been a fairly-detailed media strategy that excluded the voices of lockdown opponents while--... Read More
Michael Hudson: Well, I think you’re quite right in organizing the conference to point out that today’s pandemic crisis hastens and intensifies the internal contradictions that have been building up. Many of these contradictions are going to be blamed simply on the virus. But there is an underlying problem that the virus is exposing and... Read More
In a sign that the Federal Reserve is growing increasingly desperate to jump-start the economy, the Fed’s Secondary Market Credit Facility has begun purchasing individual corporate bonds. The Secondary Market Credit Facility was created by Congress as part of a coronavirus stimulus bill to purchase as much as 750 billion dollars of corporate credit. Until... Read More
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To most people, if they are familiar with it at all, BlackRock is an asset manager that helps pension funds and retirees manage their savings through “passive” investments that track the stock market. But working behind the scenes, it is much more than that. BlackRock has been called “the most powerful institution in the financial... Read More
The Federal Reserve is directly buying stocks, bonds, junk bonds, mortgages, junk mortgages, all to prop up the value of assets owned by the top 5%. This does not spur much new production or create jobs. Michael Hudson joins Paul Jay on theAnalysis.news podcast
Last week the Federal Reserve announced it will keep interest rates at or near zero until the economy recovers from the government-imposed shutdown. Following this announcement, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell urged Congress and the Trump administration to put aside any concerns about the deficit and spend whatever it takes to stimulate the economy and... Read More
The Saker: I suppose that like any system, the economy and financial system in the USA and, more generally, in the West can take some punishment, but there has to be a “point of no return” after which the entire systems comes tumbling down like a house of card. My first question is double: a)... Read More
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Imagining How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Are Destroying Us
Jim Vrettos: Welcome once again to the Radical Imagination. I'm your host, Jim Vrettos. I'm a sociologist whose taught at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Yeshiva University here in New York. Our guest today on the Radical Imagination is Michael Hudson. He was on our March 8th show. We had such an overwhelmingly... Read More
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How the US Makes Countries Pay for Its Wars
Economist Michael Hudson explains how American imperialism has created a global free lunch, where the US makes foreign countries pay for its wars, and even their own military occupation. Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton discuss the economics of Washington’s empire, the role of the IMF and World Bank, attempts to create alternative financial systems like... Read More
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Facing the Covid-19 pandemic, the US Congress rammed through the CARES Act — which economist Michael Hudson explains is not a “bailout” but a massive, $6 trillion giveaway to Wall Street, banks, large corporations, and stockholders. Max Blumenthal and Ben Norton discuss the enormous financial scam with Hudson, who reveals how the economy actually works,... Read More
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There's no doubt that the Coronavirus is a serious infection that can lead to severe illness or death. There's also no doubt that 'virus hysteria' has been used for other purposes. Wall Street, for example, has used virus-panic to advance its own agenda and get another round of trillion dollar bailouts. In fact, it took... Read More
As much as Covid-19 is a circuit breaker, a time bomb and an actual weapon of mass destruction (WMD), a fierce debate is raging worldwide on the wisdom of mass quarantine applied to entire cities, states and nations. Those against it argue Planet Lockdown not only is not stopping the spread of Covid-19 but also... Read More
September 17, 2019 was a significant day in American economic history. On that day, the New York Federal Reserve began emergency cash infusions into the repurchasing (repo) market. This is the market banks use to make short-term loans to each other. The New York Fed acted after interest rates in the repo market rose to... Read More
The Senate's $2 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Package is not fiscal stimulus and it's not a lifeline for the tens of millions of working people who have suddenly lost their jobs. It's a fundamental restructuring of the US economy designed to strengthen the grip of the corrupt corporate-banking oligarchy while creating a permanent underclass that will... Read More
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Even before the Covid-19 crisis had slashed stock prices nearly in half since it erupted in January, financial markets were in an inherently unstable condition. Years of quantitative easing had loaded so much money into stock and bond prices that stock price/earnings multiples and bond prices were far too high by any normal and reasonable... Read More
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The next bailout will be our last
Imagine if the congress approved a measure to form a public-private partnership between the US Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Can you imagine that? Now imagine if a panicky and ill-informed Congress gave the Fed a blank check to bail out all of its crooked crony corporate and Wall Street friends, allowing the Fed to... Read More
The Fed is reopening its most controversial and despised crisis-era bailout facility, the Primary Dealer Credit Facility. The Wall Street Journal describes the PDCF as "an overnight loan facility for primary dealers (that) provides round-the-clock backup source of funding to banks." The WSJ's description grossly understates the facility's real purpose which is to transfer the... Read More
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1-- Investors are cashing in and heading for the exits According to Bloomberg News: "Investors made their biggest dash for cash in history" in the last week. "They channeled $137 billion into cash-like assets and a record $14 billion into government bonds in the five days through March 11.....(while) money managers are liquidating en masse."... Read More
On Thursday, the Federal Reserve announced its biggest market intervention to date, a massive $1.5 trillion injection into the short-term funding markets ("repo") aimed at preventing grossly-inflated stock valuations from resetting at lower prices. There should be no misunderstanding about the Fed's real intention or whether its meddling will work. When financial assets are purchased... Read More
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The federal reserve recently announced a $1.5 trillion dollar coronavirus "stimulus" package, $500 billion of which will go to incentivize banks to keep lending. Another maneuver, cutting Federal Reserve interest rates from an already low amount to effectively 0%, means big banks will be handed the equivalent of interest-free cash under the assumption that they... Read More
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Public Banking Institute Podcast Michael Hudson: [00:00:00] There's recognition that commercial banking has become dysfunctional and that most loans by commercial banks are either against assets – in which case the lending inflates the prices of real estate, stocks and bonds – or for corporate takeover loans. The economy’s low-income brackets have not been helped... Read More
Last week, the Federal Reserve responded to Wall Street’s coronavirus panic with an “emergency” interest rate cut. This emergency cut failed to revive the stock market, leading to predictions that the Fed will again cut rates later this month. More rate cuts would drive interest rates to near, or even below, zero. Lowering interest rates... Read More
Last week's violent gyrations in the stock market are the result of a tug-of-war between two well-represented groups of investors. One group thinks the Coronavirus will severely impact the global economy pushing stocks further into the red, while the other group believes the Fed will intervene in the market once more and save the day.... Read More
Imagine if stock prices decoupled from the real economy and steadily rose on the back of central bank policy. Imagine if a decade of historic low rates, perennially-optimistic forward guidance and trillions of dollars in bond purchases triggered the longest rally in Wall Street history. Imagine if investors shrugged off bad news, (flagging GDP, poor... Read More
The 1978 Humphrey-Hawkins Act requires the Federal Reserve to “promote” stable prices and full employment. Of course, the Fed’s steady erosion of the dollar’s purchasing power has made prices anything but stable, while the boom-and-bust cycle created by the Fed ensures that periods of low unemployment will not last for long. Despite the difficulties the... Read More
There's a chance that the coronavirus will be contained in the United States and that fewer people will be infected than in China or Iran. But there's also a possibility that the highly-contagious virus will spread and that there will be sporadic outbreaks across the country. If this latter scenario takes place, then the ructions... Read More
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There are three main reasons why stocks are falling hard. 1-- Uncertainty. It's impossible for investors to gauge the economic impact of the rapidly-spreading coronavirus or its effect on stock prices. Investors buy stocks with the expectation that their investment will grow over time. In periods of crisis, when the environment becomes unfamiliar and opaque,... Read More
When investors buy stocks, stock prices rise. That is the immutable law of the market. It doesn't matter if the money comes from big financial institutions, Mom and Pop day-traders or Central Banks. The same rule applies: Buy more stocks and prices go higher. So when the Federal Reserve launched its recent "repo rescue" operation,... Read More
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A five-alarm fire has broken out in a little known, but critically important area of the financial system where high-quality bonds are swapped for cash. The "repo" market, which is short for repurchase agreements, is part of the nondeposit, shadow banking system that remains largely unregulated despite the fact that it was ground zero in... Read More
The bickering over impeachment did not stop the president and Congress from coming together last week to avert a government shutdown by passing a 1.4 trillion dollar spending package. The bipartisan agreement has something for everyone — a 22 billion dollars increase to bring total spending on militarism to 738 billion dollars, and a 27... Read More
Lost in the media’s obsession with the impeachment circus last week was Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s testimony on the state of the economy before the Joint Economic Committee. In his testimony, Chairman Powell warned that when the next recession inevitably occurs, the US Government’s over $23 trillion debt would prevent Congress from increasing spending... Read More
When the New York Federal Reserve began pumping billions of dollars a day into the repurchasing (repo) markets (the market banks use to make short-term loans to each other) in September, they said this would only be necessary for a few weeks. Yet, last Wednesday, almost two months after the Fed’s initial intervention, the New... Read More
Thirty-eight years ago when I was in charge of United States domestic economic policy, the US Treasury and President Reagan believed that the purpose of economic policy was to serve the country, not Wall Street and the banks or the corporations or any of the various organized interest groups. Our idea was that policy could... Read More
Since September 17, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has pumped billions of dollars into the repurchasing (repo) market, the first such intervention since 2009. The Fed has announced that it will continue to inject as much as 75 billion dollars a day into the repo market until November 4. The repo market provides... Read More
Westerners have been for generations infused with a conviction that a nation’s central bank must, under threat of great ‘moral hazard’, be kept separate and independent of that nation’s government. The reasons are unclear, but since this mythology qualifies as a biblical pronouncement, it is by nature not open to question. The proposition is, of... Read More
If you’re a member of the working class, 1/3 of your pay has been stolen from you. You would think this would be front page news every day until the problem is fixed. Not only is that a huge amount of money for a huge portion of the country, but you would expect our left... Read More
Former Federal Reserve official Bill Dudley’s recent op-ed calling for the Federal Reserve to implement policies that will damage President Trump’s reelection campaign states that such action would be unprecedented. Dudley claims the Federal Reserve bases its policies solely on an objective evaluation of economic conditions. This is an example of a so-called noble lie... Read More
The US Constitution never granted the federal government authority to create a central bank. The Founders, having lived through hyperinflation themselves, understood that government should never have a printing press at its disposal. But from the very beginning of America’s founding, the desire for a crony central bank was strong. In fact, two attempts were... Read More
Stocks fell last week following news that the yield curve on Treasury notes had inverted. This means that a short-term Treasury note was paying higher interest rates than long-term Treasury note. An inverted yield curve is widely seen as a sign of an impending recession. Some economic commentators reacted to the inverted yield curve by... Read More
The Federal Reserve, responding to concerns about the economy and the stock market, and perhaps to criticisms by President Trump, recently changed course on interest rates by cutting its “benchmark” rate from 2.25 percent to two percent. President Trump responded to the cut in already historically-low rates by attacking the Fed for not committing to... Read More
After years of being kept in the doldrums by orchestrated short selling described on this website by Roberts and Kranzler, gold has lately moved up sharply reaching $1,510 this morning. The gold price has continued to rise despite the continuing practice of dumping large volumes of naked contracts in the futures market. The gold price... Read More
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I’m Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns and Butter, Dr. Michael Hudson. Today’s show: De-Dollarizing the American Financial Empire. Dr. Hudson is a financial economist and historian. He is President of the Institute for the Study of Long-Term Economic Trend, a Wall Street Financial Analyst and Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri,... Read More
Since June 2009 Americans have lived in the false reality of a recovered economy. Various fake news and manipulated statistics have been used to create this false impression. However, indicators that really count have not supported the false picture and were ignored. For example, it is normal in a recovering or expanding economy for the... Read More
The story line is going out that the economic boom is weakening and the Federal Reserve has to get the printing press running again. The Fed uses the money to purchase bonds, which drives up the prices of bonds and lowers the interest rate. The theory is that the lower interest rate encourages consumer spending... Read More
The recently-proposed Green New Deal is proof that climate change is for progressive Democrats what terrorism is for neoconservative Republicans: a ready-made excuse to expand government and curtail liberty. This radical plan would authorize the US government to seize control of major sectors of the US economy, phase out gasoline-fueled cars, make buildings “energy efficient,”... Read More
President Trump’s frustration with the Federal Reserve’s (minuscule) interest rate increases that he blames for the downturn in the stock market has reportedly led him to inquire if he has the authority to remove Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. Chairman Powell has stated that he would not comply with a presidential request for his resignation, meaning... Read More
While Congress and the president fight over funding a border wall, they continue to ignore the coming economic tsunami caused by the approximately 22 trillion dollars (and rapidly increasing) federal debt. President Trump may not be troubled by the debt’s effect on the economy because he believes he will be out of office before it... Read More
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The Inequality Gap on a Planet Growing More Extreme
As we head into 2019, leaving the chaos of this year behind, a major question remains unanswered when it comes to the state of Main Street, not just here but across the planet. If the global economy really is booming, as many politicians claim, why are leaders and their parties around the world continuing to... Read More
President Trump recently called the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes crazy. Leaving aside President Trump’s specific complaint, which is likely motivated by the belief that low rates will help him win reelection, he is right that “crazy” is a good way to describe the Federal Reserve.When not forced to use a government-created currency, individuals have... Read More