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US Empire Of Debt Headed For Collapse

Prof. Michael Hudson’s new book, The Collapse of Antiquity: Greece and Rome as Civilization’s Oligarchic Turning Point” is a seminal event in this Year of Living Dangerously when, to paraphrase Gramsci, the old geopolitical and geoeconomic order is dying and the new one is being born at breakneck speed. Prof. Hudson’s main thesis is absolutely devastating: he sets out to prove that economic/financial practices in Ancient Greece and Rome – the pillars of Western Civilization – set the stage for what is happening today right in front of our eyes: an empire reduced to a rentier economy, collapsing from within.

G7’s Coercion Claim Against China Slammed As ‘Absurd’

The United States and its Western allies have been the major perpetrators of economic coercion that have inflicted suffering on millions of people around the world, according to international experts and scholars. G7 leaders meeting in Hiroshima, Japan, from Friday to Sunday are set to issue a statement that includes their concerns about alleged economic coercion by China, Reuters reported, citing unnamed US officials. “The report that the G7 may call out China’s economic coercion is hypocritical given that the US is by far the world’s biggest deployer of unilateral coercive measures,” said Jeffrey Sachs, a Columbia University economist who served as a special adviser to the UN secretary-general from 2001 to 2018.

French Rail Workers Mobilize To Save Rail Freight Operator

Trade unions and rail and freight workers in France have intensified their campaign to save freight operator Fret SNCF, a subsidiary of the state-owned National Society of French Railway (SNCF). On Tuesday, May 16, the workers, responding to the call of unions including CGT des Cheminots which is affiliated to the General Confederation of Labor (CGT), marched to the Ministry of Transport in Paris, demanding that the freight company being saved from liquidation. Union representatives also held talks with the SNCF management and other transport authorities on the same day. Earlier this year, on January 18, the European Commission opened an investigation into support measures taken up by the SNFC to help Fret SNCF, such as capital injection and debt cancellation, during the 2007-2019 period, which allegedly do not comply with European state aid rules.

Escaping Debt Slavery: Ethiopia, Africa, And The IMF

Washington is well aware that the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) tried to regain power militarily and failed. The TPLF has essentially been Washington's proxy in the region. This was a two-year war, and in war, unfortunately, atrocities are committed, but most of the documentation that I have seen places the atrocities on the TPLF side of the fence, and they have been, quite frankly, horrific. Having failed to overthrow the Abiy government and bring the TPLF to power, the United States tried to control the outcome diplomatically, through the Pretoria peace agreement, which Washington orchestrated from the sidelines to save the TPLF from complete defeat. The pressure that is being put on them through this IMF agreement is an example of that.

The Poverty Trap

The key to economic development and ending poverty is investment.  Nations achieve prosperity by investing in four priorities. Most important is investing in people, through quality education and health care.  The next is infrastructure, such as electricity, safe water, digital networks and public transport. The third is natural capital, protecting nature.  The fourth is business investment.  The key is finance: mobilizing the funds to invest at the scale and speed required. In principle, the world should operate as an interconnected system.  The rich countries, with high levels of education, healthcare, infrastructure, and business capital, should supply ample finance to the poor countries, which must urgently build up their human, infrastructure, natural and business capital.

The IMF Debt Trap And How To Get Out Of It

Political Economist Grieve Chelwa explains the reasons why countries of the Global South are forced to go time and again to the International Monetary Fund for aid. He talks about how the IMF is essentially a tool of US imperialism and how its policies are designed to keep countries in debt. He also talks about the changing nature of debt and the role of private players such as BlackRock. Grieve Chelwa also explains some of the ways countries in Asia and Africa can get out of this situation, and the kind of international frameworks and policies that will have to be constructed. Grieve Chelwa is the Director of Research at the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy of the The New School, a member of the Collective on African Political Economy, and one of the authors of the dossier, Life or Debt: The Stranglehold of Neocolonialism and Africa’s Search for Alternatives, published by Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research.

Can BRICS Triumph Over The IMF And World Bank?

Who would have expected that the BRICS nations could rise as the potential rival of the G7 countries, the World Bank and the IMF combined? But that once seemingly distant possibility now has real prospects which could change the political equilibrium of world politics. BRICS is an acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It was supposedly coined by the Chief Economist of Goldman Sachs in 2001 as a reference to the world’s emerging economies. It was then known as BRIC, with the ‘S’ added later when South Africa formally joined the group in 2010. BRIC’s first official summit took place in 2009. T

Much Lying From The International Monetary Fund

Remarkably, during her visit to Ghana in late March 2023, US Vice President Kamala Harris announced that the US Treasury Department’s Office of Technical Assistance will ‘deploy a full-time resident advisor in 2023 to Accra to assist the Ministry of Finance in developing and executing medium- to long-term reforms needed to improve debt sustainability and support a competitive, dynamic government debt market’. Ghana certainly faces significant challenges in this arena, with its external debt standing at $36 billion and its debt to Gross Domestic Product ratio hovering over 100 percent.

IMF Is Forcing Some Of Hardest-Hit Countries To Pay Unnecessary Fees

Washington, DC — The International Monetary Fund is requiring that some of its most heavily indebted borrowers pay billions in unnecessary and counterproductive fees, new research from the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) shows. The new issue brief, “The Growing Burden of IMF Surcharges: An Updated Estimate,” by Francisco Amsler and Michael Galant, finds that the IMF will charge over $2 billion per year in surcharges through 2025, even as IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva warns that “poverty and hunger could further increase,” and as the Fund notes that some 15 percent of countries are experiencing debt distress “and an additional 45 percent are at high risk of debt distress.”

Converging Debt Crises

An enormous debt bomb threatens the US federal government and the nation’s financial system unless warring politicians can agree on a plan to defuse it. However, there are even bigger debt bombs ticking away beneath us all, of which fewer people are aware. It may be impossible to disarm all of them, but action is required to minimize the casualties. Let’s start by focusing on the immediate US debt threat, then widen our view to take in longer-term and more serious liabilities that have the potential to bring down the entire global industrial economy.

Pakistan Moves Towards Another IMF Bailout

Almost all of Pakistan awoke to darkness on the morning of Monday, January 23, as the country experienced its second major power outage in four months. Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan announced that “unusual voltage and frequency fluctuation” had caused a widespread breakdown in the national grid.  The outage was caused by a disruption in the power generation units, which the government was shutting down at night when the demand for electricity was relatively lower, as an “economic measure” amid a looming energy shortage.  The fallout from the outage was dramatic—affecting not only water supply systems and hospitals, but also economic activities. Shahid Sattar, the secretary general of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, told AFP that 90% of factories had shut down on Monday, causing an estimated loss of $70 million. 

Solving The Debt Crisis The American Way

On Friday, Jan. 13, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen wrote to Congress that the U.S. government will hit its borrowing limit on Jan. 19, forcing the new Congress into negotiations over the debt limit much sooner than expected. She said she will use accounting maneuvers she called “extraordinary measures” to keep U.S. finances running for a few months, pushing the potential date for default to sometime in the summer. But she urged Congress to get to work on raising the debt ceiling. Lifting it above its current $31.385 trillion limit won’t be easy with a highly divided and gridlocked Congress. As former Republican politician David Stockman crowed in a Jan. 11 article: 15 [House] votes and the slings and arrows of MSM opprobrium were well worth it. That’s because the GOP’s anti-McCarthy insurrection obtained concessions which just might slow America’s headlong rush to fiscal armageddon. And just in the nick of time! We are referring, of course, to the Speaker elect’s promise that there will be no more debt ceiling increases without off-setting spending cuts; and that in the event of a double-cross a single Member of the House may table a motion to vacate the Speaker’s chair.

The Poor, Squeezed By 10 Trillion Dollars In External Debts

The external debt of the world’s low and middle-income countries at the end of 2021 totalled 9 trillion US dollars, more than double the amount a decade ago. Such debt is expected to increase by an additional 1.1 trillion US dollars in 2023. Moreover, the debt-service payments, projected to top 62 billion US dollars in 2022, put the biggest squeeze on poor countries since 2000, according to the World Bank. As defined by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), debt service refers to payments in respect of both principal and interest. Actual debt service is the set of payments actually made to satisfy a debt obligation, including principal, interest, and any late payment fees. Scheduled debt service is the set of payments, including principal and interest, that is required to be made through the life of the debt, OECD goes on.

How Argentina Has Been Trapped In Neocolonial Debt For 200 Years

The deuda (“debt” in Spanish) is one of the most persistent elements in the two centuries of Argentina’s history. It has conditioned the political life and the economy of the country like no other factor, for generations. But this should not be confused with just any debt. The word deuda normally refers to the external debt (both public and private), a debt owed to foreign creditors. Historically, the key aspect of the deuda is that it is based on a foreign currency, the world trade currency controlled by the ruling empire. It was once the British pound. Since 1944 it has largely been the US dollar. The United States can “print” dollars (and the Federal Reserve does so regularly), but Argentina cannot. The same is true of other countries in the Global South with large external debts denominated in foreign currencies.

Pakistan Demands Debt Cancellation And Climate Justice

Even as the floodwaters have receded, the people of Pakistan are still trying to grapple with the death and devastation the floods have left in their wake. The floods that swept across the country between June and September have killed more than 1,700 people, injured more than 12,800, and displaced millions as of November 18. The scale of the destruction in Pakistan was still making itself apparent as the world headed to the United Nations climate conference COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, in November. Pakistan was one of two countries invited to co-chair the summit. It also served as chair of the Group of 77 (G77) and China for 2022, playing a critical role in ensuring that the establishment of a loss and damage fund was finally on the summit’s agenda, after decades of resistance by the Global North.
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