A tribute to Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, who faces the prospect of extradition and a jail sentence in the United States for publishing confidential official documents. Here, we present a 2006 essay by Assange outlining his vision, select Wikileaks releases of secret policies related to the environment, and Mediastan, a documentary film on Wikileaks.
global financial system
Ten years after the global financial crisis, a debt-fuelled world economy is headed towards another crash, the IMF has warned. With the Rupee at a record low, unemployment at a 20-year high, and 78 of its largest corporations defaulting on massive debts, India’s rapidly emerging as the epicentre of a crisis that could dwarf 2008.
Shelley Kasli writes: Recent changes in India’s foreign direct investment policy allows 100 percent FDI (from current 49%) for single brand retail trading and construction, among others, paving the way for global players. In reality, India is being drawn into the spiral of debt economics to protect the American Dream from turning into a Nightmare.
Financial crises are happening more frequently, and the next panic is almost certainly brewing – mostly thanks to skewed government and central bank policies -according to research by Deutsche Bank. It comes as a warning to India, where the RBI has just approved a massive ‘recapitalisation’ programme to bailout banks struggling with ballooning corporate debt.
We should expect financial collapse quite soon – perhaps as soon as the next few months. Our problem is energy related, but not in the way most experts have claimed. It’s much more related to the election of President Trump and to the Brexit vote. Most people don’t understand how interconnected the world economy is.
From Journeyman Pictures: The financial storm of 2008 began brewing in when the US congress pushed the idea of home ownership for all. When it all went wrong, they opted for gargantuan bailouts for the big banks. This documentary offers fresh insight into the greatest economic crisis of our age: the one still awaiting us.
Gail Tverberg writes: Underlying problems are sufficiently severe that we seem to be headed for a crisis far worse than 2008. Our fundamental problem is that neither high nor low energy prices are now able to keep the world economy operating as we’d like it to. Increased debt can’t seem to fix the problem either.
What lies ahead for the economy this year? Will there be a global economic collapse as predicted by many or will the early positive signs in stock markets around the world continue? While focused on the U.S., this compilation by Daisy Luther of forecasts by 12 leading experts has implications for the entire global economy.
Monetary historian Mike Maloney says in this podcast: Within the next few years you’re going to see probably the greatest crash in history. I have often said that the crisis of 2008 was just a speed bump on the way to the main event. We are in the process right now of seeing this unwind.
What the flashing neon words on the wall seem to be saying is: negative interest rates are on the way throughout the “developed world.” In due course, they will demolish any remaining value of the US dollar, and blow up the bond bubble. In turn, this financial collapse will trigger the next stage: commercial collapse.
Martin Parker writes: We live in an age of conspiracies about a world shaped by shadowy plots, secret organisations and deals behind closed doors. Since at least the mid-1960s, the Bilderberg meetings have been seen by commentators on the right and left as one of the places where the New World Order does its business.
In this four part series titled No Economic Bullets Left?, former investment banker Satyajit Das sets out why it will be difficult for the world economy to get back to previous levels of growth. The first part looks at the failure of fiscal policies of governments around the world, and why available policy tools cannot address the underlying problems.
Charles Hugh Smith writes: If we don’t change the way money is created and distributed, we will never change anything. The Panama Papers offer damning proof of this: increasing concentrations of wealth and power free of constraint (like taxes) is not just the consequence of centralized money and state power, but its only possible output.
Author Mark Weisbrot says: “Behind almost every prolonged economic malfeasance there is some combination of outworn bad ideas, incompetence and the malign influence of powerful special interests”. Unfortunately, such nightmares are repeated in other places because even if the lessons are learned, they are not taken to heart, by “the people who call the shots”.
Keith Dicker writes: Why is the world in an economic funk? The answer is quite simple: Private Capital does not like the actions by central banks and governments, and is withdrawing their money from the global economy. And it is heading towards the center of the earth. Yes, it really is as simple as that.
T Sabri Öncü writes: Some insist that the global economy is in “secular stagnation,” but the facts suggest we may be entering the “worst” depression in history. Global markets have been on a slippery slope since 2007, and things have only been getting worse. The picture looks dismal, no matter which theoretical lens one uses.
Financial bubbles arise when asset prices inflate above what incomes can sustain. The mathematical reality is that the current over $200 trillion in debt and perhaps another $500 trillion of un(der)funded liabilities really cannot ever be paid back under current terms. In order for these obligations to be reset to a reality-based level, something has to give.
The Guardian reports: Investors face a “cataclysmic year” where stock markets could fall by up to 20% and oil could slump to $16 a barrel, the Royal Bank of Scotland have warned. In a note to clients, it said: “Sell everything except high quality bonds. This is about return of capital, not return on capital.”
Sajai Jose Alexis Tsipras, the first Left Greek Prime Minister. Credit: SpaceShoe/Flickr, CC 2.0. Cover image of old woman in Athens is also by Spaceshoe Greece has become the first developed country to default on an International Monetary Fund loan, itself a fraction of a €323 billion national debt – equivalent to more than 175% of the country’s
The Encyclical by Pope Francis is being hailed by environmentalists as the second coming. It’s hardly that, in my view. Nonetheless, I was struck within minutes of starting it, by the incisive and accurate commentary it offers on our true predicament. Here are some passages that resonated with me and that I found highly insightful. Manu