At the world’s largest gathering of Indigenous leaders, women are talking about how to hold financial institutions accountable for fueling climate catastrophe through investments in the extractive industry. Michelle Cook, Navajo, was among those who offered powerful testimonies focused on the women at the frontlines of extractive projects, the boardrooms of financial institutions, and the halls of governments. Speaking at a side event hosted by Women's Earth and Climate Action Network at the 21st session of the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, Cook described the work as being part of a sacred obligation. “That’s what we’re doing, fulfilling a prayer for the world – for nature – with love, compassion, and with courage.
The fight to stop the Line 3 tar sands pipeline is about justice for the land. It’s about justice for the water. Justice for Anishinaabe people whose culture and way of life it threatens. Justice for people all over the world who are being impacted by the climate crisis. That’s why I am excited to announce that, this week, we launched a major new campaign: #DefundLine3. You can click here to take the first action as part of this campaign. Back in 2016, I helped to launch #DefundDAPL. As Indigenous Water Protectors were being brutalized by racist, militarized police―shot with rubber bullets, bitten by attack dogs and blasted with water cannons in the middle of winter―#DefundDAPL spread nationally.
In the latest It’s Our Money podcast, PBI Chair Ellen Brown and co-host Walt McRee speak with renowned economist Michael Hudson, member of the Public Banking Institute Advisory Board. Walt introduces the episode: The global economic devastation produced by market-driven profiteering has resulted in distressed and deprived citizens taking to the streets by the hundreds of thousands in cities around the globe and continues its destructive exploitation of our planet’s resources. The culprit is an aging “neo-liberal” economic system which produces historic social inequality while consolidating power in the hands of a few. Our guest, renowned economist Michael Hudson, says this system is more neo-feudal than neo-liberal – and that its inherent excesses are on the verge of bringing it down. Ellen reports that one example of its demise may be in Mexico where its new president is creating new public banks to help address some of its neo-liberal market inequities.
We don’t speak of the “Money Trust” in the 21st century. But perhaps we should. These two words had a powerful resonance in the early decades of the 20th century as a label for the tiny number of rich Americans who used their dominance of finance to seize control of vast swaths of industry like railroads, metals, petroleum, to name but a few. Today, their names – the Morgans, the Mellons – can possess a certain ageless, almost noble echo thanks to the passage of time and decades of strategic philanthropy. But back then, their critics, and they were numerous, verily spit out their names in disgust. The address of J. Pierpont Morgan’s bank, on New York’s famous road of finance, loomed large enough in the public mind that no less than Franklin Delano Roosevelt could promise in 1933 that his cabinet would include “no one in it who knows the way to 23 Wall Street.
By Jack Rasmus for Counter Punch - The past year the US and global ‘real’ economies have enjoyed a moderate recovery. Much of that has been due to China stimulating its economy to ensure real growth in anticipation of the Communist Party’s convention, which has just ended. China’s president Xi and central bank (Peoples Bank of China) chair, Zhou, have announced, post-convention, that China’s real growth will slow and have warned a global ‘Minsky Moment’ (i.e. financial crisis) may be brewing. China will now try, once again, to tame its shadow bankers and speculators who have been feeding China’s debt and bubbles, and prepare for the global financial instability that is brewing. The global financial bubbles–in stocks, bonds, currencies (crypto and real), derivatives, real estate, etc.– have been fueled since 2008 by capitalist central banks–led by the US Federal Reserve and followed even more aggressively by the European Central Bank and Bank of Japan. Central bank ‘free’ money has boosted stock and other financial asset prices into bubble territory and produced historic capital gains profits for corporations, professional investors, and the wealthiest 1% households in the US and worldwide. The world’s approximately 1500 billionaires’ wealth now totals more than $6 trillion–and that is only the officially admitted figure.
By Popular Resistance. Bethesda, MD - The members of Macedonia Baptist Church (MBC,) established in 1920, one of the oldest African churches in Montgomery County is engaged in a fight with financial powerhouse Equity One in its pursuit to plunder an African cemetery associated with the church and its members. The current membership of MBC is composed, in part, of descendants of the original African community on River Road. The MBC community, located in the center of one of the wealthiest communities in the US was once a thriving community of descendants of liberated enslaved Africans in the mid-1860s. The homes of the River Road African community were stolen by developers and the graves desecrated. After the tombstones were discarded, Montgomery County allowed a builder to pave over the graves and build an HOC apartment building and a parking lot. It was hoped that this crime against humanity would never be discovered.
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Cannon Ball, North Dakota (Oceti Sakowin or Council of the Seven Fires Camp) - Today, the people won a major victory in the fight to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The US Army Corp of Engineers sided with the Water Protectors and refused the final permit that would have allowed Energy Transfer Partners to drill under Lake Oahe. There will be battles ahead but this was another amazing people-powered victory. When people unite, we have power. This time people power defeated big oil and big finance. 20161204_112709When we arrived at the Oceti Sakowin Camp, we were impressed by its size and organization. From our view on the highway, the camp stretched far into the distance and was packed with all kinds of structures.
By Jack Rasmus for TeleSur. The problem with Big Pharma price gouging ‘out of control’ is not just that its companies have been allowed to operate as monopolies due to patent protection. Patent protection has been around for decades, well before the industry began its price gouging and profits at the expense of life practices. A good part of the problem has become the growing ‘financialization’ of the industry by Wall St. and global finance capital in general in recent decades. That takeover has led to new ways to inject price volatility into the prescription drug market in order to manipulate pricing to extract excessive speculative profits. This has transformed, and continues to transform, the pharmaceuticals industry into what is sometimes called a ‘rentier capitalist’ sector.