Category Archives: Διεθνής πολιτική οικονομία

Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems | Books | The Guardian

Neoliberalism’s triumph also reflects the failure of the left. When laissez-faire economics led to catastrophe in 1929, Keynes devised a comprehensive economic theory to replace it. When Keynesian demand management hit the buffers in the 70s, there was an alternative ready. But when neoliberalism fell apart in 2008 there was … nothing. This is why the zombie walks. The left and centre have produced no new general framework of economic thought for 80 years.

Every invocation of Lord Keynes is an admission of failure. To propose Keynesian solutions to the crises of the 21st century is to ignore three obvious problems. It is hard to mobilise people around old ideas; the flaws exposed in the 70s have not gone away; and, most importantly, they have nothing to say about our gravest predicament: the environmental crisis. Keynesianism works by stimulating consumer demand to promote economic growth. Consumer demand and economic growth are the motors of environmental destruction.

via Neoliberalism – the ideology at the root of all our problems | Books | The Guardian

Advertisements

Brexit And The Status Quo Ex-Ante

Every non-euro country’s government except Britain and Denmark must adopt the euro after 2020. Though severe instability of the euro earlier this decade sapped much of the enthusiasm for adopting it, the requirement is embedded in EU treaties. The fiscal pact (TSCG) is inseparable from joining the euro zone because it is the vehicle for enforcing the Maastricht fiscal rules. Taken together, the rules and the TSCG enforcement procedures combine to make a reactionary and undemocratic policy regime as I argued in a previous SE article.

Assume that as a result of a second referendum and/or a vote of parliament a British government reversed Article 50 and sought to re-establish membership. Clause 5 of Article 50 allows for that possibility — if “a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49”.

Article 49 states that a re-applying government shall be treated as a new applicant. Thus, to re-enter the British government would lose its opt-out from the euro and have to adopt the TSCG. Both would be unwise and together would undermine progressive change in Britain.

via Brexit And The Status Quo Ex-Ante

Inequality In Europe: What Can Be Done?

This is not an exhaustive list but illustrates the breadth of predistribution as an egalitarian strategy. In conclusion, three points ought to be made. Firstly, ‘redistribution’ and ‘predistribution’ are not mutually exclusive. Egalitarians need both. If predistributive measures are effective, they ought to raise the overall tax take by boosting employment participation; greater resilience in the tax base then increases the potential for redistribution and ‘social’ investment over the long-term.

The second point is that predistribution is often politically more difficult than traditional redistribution. Predistribution involves taking on entrenched vested interests, especially in the financial sector. It is important to highlight that lower inequality of primary incomes is positive for economic efficiency as well as social justice. Greater equality helps to create more stable market economies, balanced by societies where democratic politics rather than market forces prevail.

via Inequality In Europe: What Can Be Done?

How economics became a religion

Contrary to the tenets of orthodox economists, contemporary research suggests that, rather than seeking always to maximise our personal gain, humans still remain reasonably altruistic and selfless. Nor is it clear that the endless accumulation of wealth always makes us happier. And when we do make decisions, especially those to do with matters of principle, we seem not to engage in the sort of rational “utility-maximizing” calculus that orthodox economic models take as a given. The truth is, in much of our daily life we don’t fit the model all that well.

via How economics became a religion | John Rapley | News | The Guardian

Αποκαλυπτική έρευνα για τους «τέσσερις μεγάλους» της φοροδιαφυγής

Η διαρροή των Panama Papers αποκάλυψε, αν όχι το ίδιο το γεγονός, την έκταση της φοροδιαφυγής/φοροαποφυγής και του σαθρού καθεστώτος λειτουργίας των φορολογικών παραδείσων, στους οποίους δεν υπάρχει δικαιοδοσία ελέγχου και επιβολής του νόμου. Στα Panama Papers εμπλέκονται μεγιστάνες, πολυεθνικές και εξέχοντα πολιτικά πρόσωπα. Τι γίνεται όμως με αυτούς που τους ελέγχουν; Η παρούσα αποκαλυπτική έρευνα, που στην Ελλάδα δημοσιεύει αποκλειστικά το tvxs.gr, παρουσιάζει αποδείξεις για την εμπλοκή σε φορολογικούς παραδείσους και τον αδιαφανή τρόπο λειτουργίας των τεσσάρων μεγαλύτερων εταιρειών ορκωτών λογιστών του κόσμου. Πρόκειται για τις «The Big Four»: Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers ή PwC, EY (μέχρι πρόσφατα Ernst & Young) και KPMG.

via Tvxs Αποκλειστικό: Αποκαλυπτική έρευνα για τους «τέσσερις μεγάλους» της φοροδιαφυγής

EU – Fateful Year 2017

Neither holding on to neoliberalism, nor renationalization, nor cosmetic reforms, nor individual measures are the correct answers to the current crisis. Social partners and the European trade unions have repeatedly proposed a package of necessary measures:

Democracy must be extended at European level by strengthening the European Parliament. The promotion of transnational democracy should be accompanied by the creation of a European public (in the media, the political debate, the education system, etc.) where the interests of societal groups feature as a priority.
Fair distribution and positive economic growth must be promoted by joint future-oriented investments and the fight against tax fraud and aggressive tax evasion.
Furthermore, the liberal economic governance and austerity policy of the Stability and Growth Pact must be immediately terminated, establishing at the same time a minimum floor of labor and social law. Fundamental social rights must take priority over internal market freedoms.
Finally, the reshaping and stabilization of the financial sector is a must.

via EU – Fateful Year 2017

For A Treaty Democratizing Euro Area Governance – (T-Dem)

However scattered they may be, these different policies are truly ‘governed’, as a hard core emerged from the ever closer union of national and European economic and financial bureaucracies – French and German national treasuries, ECB executive board, senior economic officials from the European Commission. As matters stand, this is where the Euro Area is supposedly governed and where the proper political tasks of coordination, mediation and balancing among the current economic and social interests are carried out. In 2012, as he gave up reforming the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance, a cornerstone of this Euro Area governance, François Hollande contributed to consolidating this new power structure. From then onwards, this European executive pole has only seen its competences expand. Over a decade, its scope for intervention has become significant, ranging from ‘budgetary consolidation’ (austerity) policies to far-reaching coordination of national economic policies (Six Pack and Two Pack), the set-up of rescue plans for member states facing financial distress (Memorandum and Troika), the supervision of all private banks.

via For A Treaty Democratizing Euro Area Governance – (T-Dem)

Global Inequality: A New Approach For The Age Of Globalization

One of the world’s leading inequality economists, Professor Branko Milanovic, presents a bold new account of the dynamics that drive inequality on a global scale. Drawing on vast data sets and cutting-edge research, he explains the benign and malign forces that cause the rise and fall of inequality within and among nations. He also reveals who has been helped the most by globalisation, who has been held back, and what policies might tilt the balance toward economic justice.

His new book, Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization (2016), addresses economic and political issues of globalisation, including the redefinition of the “Kuznets cycles.”

via Global Inequality: A New Approach For The Age Of Globalization

Να φορολογήσουμε και τα ρομπότ;

Γιατί λοιπόν να συζητάμε για μέτρα «προστατευτισμού» ή έστω ανάσχεσης των επερχόμενων εξελίξεων; Ο σημαντικότερος λόγος είναι ότι το κόστος υποκατάστασης θέσεων εργασίας από ρομπότ ή προγράμματα με χρήση τεχνητής νοημοσύνης πλησιάζει το οριακό σημείο που «βγάζει οικονομικό νόημα» να μην απασχολούνται πια άνθρωποι. Σε πρόσφατη συνέντευξή του, ο απερχόμενος πρόεδρος των ΗΠΑ, Μπαράκ Ομπάμα, ανέφερε ότι το φαινόμενο αυτό θα οδηγήσει όχι σε άμεσο εκτοπισμό από την αγορά εργασίας αλλά σε συρρίκνωση των εισοδημάτων κυρίως στους χαμηλόμισθους και ανειδίκευτους εργαζόμενους. Ωστόσο τα επαγγέλματα που είναι πιθανό να εκτοπιστούν δεν είναι τόσο προφανή κατά τον επικεφαλής του Media Lab στο MIT, Joi Ito: «Θα στοιχημάτιζα ότι αν ένας υπολογιστής καταλάβαινε το ιατρικό σύστημα, όντας καλός στη διάγνωση και τις αντίστοιχες (εργασίες), η νοσοκόμα και ο φαρμακοποιός θα ήταν λιγότερο πιθανό να εκτοπισθούν σε σχέση με τον γιατρό – καθώς στοιχίζουν λιγότερο (στο σύστημα υγείας)». Αντίστοιχα παραδείγματα φέρνει και για τους δικηγόρους και τους οικονομικούς ελεγκτές. Ερευνητές του πανεπιστημίου της Οξφόρδης ποσοτικοποίησαν τον κίνδυνο για κάθε επάγγελμα στα επόμενα 20 χρόνια και βρήκαν ότι το 35% των σημερινών επαγγελμάτων είναι σε υψηλό κίνδυνο πλήρους αυτοματοποίησης.

via Να φορολογήσουμε και τα ρομπότ;

Stubborn Germans: Stuck In Austerity/Stability

Led by the current and previous federal government under Chancellor Angela Merkel and her CDU, the advocates of a stability union for the most part favour preservation of the status quo of the EMU architecture. The fundamental reasons for the Eurozone crisis are from this angle to be blamed on the failure of the crisis states to stick to existing rules and economic policies, thereby harming their competitiveness. Accordingly, the paramount objective in combating the crisis and further developing the Eurozone has been to correct these purportedly “wrong” policies in these countries and close possible loopholes in the rules. A whole host of measures have been implemented along these lines, from the launch of national debt brakes in the guise of the fiscal compact to stipulating quasi-automatic sanctions with the reversed majority voting in the reformed Stability and Growth Pact. Additionally, structural reforms promoting competition and fiscal consolidation in the Euro Plus Pact and in the European Semester as well as the enforcement of these if necessary within the framework of credit assistance programmes have been brought on the way.

via Stubborn Germans: Stuck In Austerity/Stability

Public Banking Policy Project

Public Banking Policy Project

via Commonomics, Growing Our Common Wealth™ – Public Banking Policy Project

Έγγραφο του ΔΝΤ αποκαλύπτει το ελληνικό «πείραμα» λιτότητας

H απουσία άλλων πολιτικών μοχλών (επιτόκια, ισοτιμία συναλλάγματος) και οι καθόλου ευνοϊκές εξωτερικές περιστάσεις (εξωτερική ζήτηση) περιπλέκουν περισσότερο την εικόνα.
Το πρόγραμμα θα μπορούσε να βγει γρήγορα εκτός τροχιάς (ακόμα και με πλήρη συμμόρφωση με τις μεταρρυθμίσεις). Λόγω της απουσίας δυνατής ανάκαμψης των εξαγωγών, δεν υπάρχει τίποτα που θα μπορούσε να υποστηρίξει την ανάκαμψη ενάντια στην αρνητική συνεισφορά του δημοσίου τομέα (περίπου 8% και 4% το 2010 και το 2011 αντίστοιχα). Τότε, η ανάκαμψη θα είναι αρνητική, με βαθύτερη και μακροβιότερη ύφεση απ ό,τι προβλέπεται, ακολουθούμενη από μία περίοδο αναιμικής ανάπτυξης. Αυτό θα σήμαινε δημοσιονομικές αποτυχίες και περισσότερο σημαντικό βάρος στον οικονομικό τομέα (νέες δημοσιονομικές αποτυχίες)
Είμαστε ανήσυχοι για πιθανές διολισθήσεις και εσωτερικές ασυνέπειες του προγράμματος που μπορούν να το θέσουν εκτός τροχιάς ακόμα και με τέλεια εφαρμογή των μεταρρυθμίσεων.

via Έγγραφο του ΔΝΤ αποκαλύπτει το ελληνικό «πείραμα» λιτότητας – ThePressProject

Clueless in Europe

Schaeuble’s intemperate language illustrates a mindset that is blocking debate of European policy priorities and the economic myths that sustain them. The groupthink was evident as early as 2008, when the financial crisis rendered banks on both sides of the Atlantic desperately in need of capital and short-term loans. Joaquin Almunia, the European commissioner for monetary affairs, portrayed it as a U.S. problem, saying, “We are well-prepared to weather this situation.” Jean-Claude Juncker, who headed the group of euro-area finance ministers, was more belligerent: “We have to be concerned, but a lot less than the Americans, on whom the deficiencies against which we have warned repeatedly are taking bitter revenge.”

The European thinking proved disastrously wrong. In generously restrained words, Bernanke points out that U.S. gross domestic product is 8.9 percent above its pre-crisis level, while euro-area GDP remains 0.8 percent below. He could have added that Schaeuble also warned that the Fed would stoke runaway inflation. The Fed’s preferred measure of inflation remains below its target. The central bank recognized that the real danger was deflation.

via Clueless in Europe – Bloomberg View

Ζίγκμουντ Μπάουμαν: δεν είναι κρίση, είναι αναδιανομή πλούτου

Εννοείτε ότι η πολιτική είναι τοπική, ενώ η εξουσία παγκόσμια…

Ακριβώς. Και ο πιο αδύναμος κρίκος δεν είναι η κοινότητα, η πόλη ή οποιαδήποτε άλλη μορφή τοπικότητας, αλλά το ίδιο το κράτος, που είναι παγιδευμένο μεταξύ δύο πυρών, του έθνους από τη μια και των αγορών από την άλλη.

Και οι πρωτοβουλίες που αναφέρατε γεννιούνται στο υπο-εθνικό επίπεδο. Οι θεσμοί του εθνικού επιπέδου (κόμματα, κυβέρνηση, βουλή κλπ.) δε μπορούν να αντεπεξέλθουν στη διπλή αυτή πίεση.

Οι πολίτες στην προσπάθεια τους να προστατευθούν από τις επιπτώσεις αυτών των ανώνυμων δυνάμεων της αγοράς, αντιδρούν με τον παραδοσιακό τρόπο, δηλαδή οργανώνονται με γνωστούς τους, γείτονες, με όλους αυτούς με τους οποίους αντιλαμβάνονται από κοινού πως η βελτίωση του τόπου τους θα έχει θετικό αντίκτυπο σε όλους και δεν είναι ανταγωνιστικό παιχνίδι με νικητές και ηττημένους.

via Ζίγκμουντ Μπάουμαν: δεν είναι κρίση, είναι αναδιανομή πλούτου

The EU’s highest court, the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU), is due to rule this year on whether German supervisory board co-determination is compatible with EU law. The case was brought by a small shareholder in TUI who claims that statutory co-determination at supervisory board level discriminates against nationals of other EU countries because the employees of foreign subsidiaries cannot vote in the supervisory board elections of the parent company. Much to everyone’s surprise, in autumn 2015 the Court of Appeal in Berlin referred the case to the CJEU, requesting a ruling on whether German supervisory board co-determination in transnational companies constitutes an infringement of the non-discrimination principle and employees’ freedom of movement. The Court of Appeal thinks that this may indeed be the case. This summer, the European Commission published an opinion that supports and even reinforces this view. It states that current co-determination law may hinder employees’ freedom of movement or make it less attractive. This prompted DGB president Reiner Hoffmann and BDA President Ingo Kramer to write a joint article in the Handelsblatt newspaper at the end of September dismissing these arguments as absurd and out of touch and making it clear that any changes to co-determination are entirely a matter for the Federal Republic of Germany. The case’s implications are debated here by political scientist Martin Höpner and labour law expert Manfred Weiss

via Co-determination Under Threat: Blocking Social Europe

The End of Progressive Neoliberalism | Dissent Magazine

I, for one, shed no tears for the defeat of progressive neoliberalism. Certainly, there is much to fear from a racist, anti-immigrant, anti-ecological Trump administration. But we should mourn neither the implosion of neoliberal hegemony nor the shattering of Clintonism’s iron grip on the Democratic Party. Trump’s victory marked a defeat for the alliance of emancipation and financialization. But his presidency offers no resolution of the present crisis, no promise of a new regime, no secure hegemony. What we face, rather, is an interregnum, an open and unstable situation in which hearts and minds are up for grabs. In this situation, there is not only danger but also opportunity: the chance to build a new new left.

via The End of Progressive Neoliberalism | Dissent Magazine

The Five Lies Of Rentier Capitalism

We live in the age of rentier capitalism. It is the crisis point of the Global Transformation, during which claims made for capitalism have been wholly undermined by a developing system that is radically different from what its advocates say. They assert a belief in ‘free markets’ and want us to believe that they are extending them. That is untrue. Today we have a most unfree market system.

How can politicians say we have a free market system when patents guarantee monopoly incomes for 20 years, preventing anyone from competing? How can they claim there are free markets when copyright rules give guaranteed income for 70 years after a person’s death? Far from trying to stop these and other negations of free markets, governments are creating rules that encourage them.

via The Five Lies Of Rentier Capitalism

State of innovation: Busting the private-sector myth | New Scientist

MAGES of tech entrepreneurs such as Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs are continually thrown at us by politicians, economists and the media. The message is that innovation is best left in the hands of these individuals and the wider private sector, and that the state – bureaucratic and sluggish – should keep out. A telling 2012 article in The Economist claimed that, to be innovative, governments must “stick to the basics” such as spending on infrastructure, education and skills, leaving the rest to the revolutionary garage tinkerers.

Yet it is ideology, not evidence, that fuels this image. A quick look at the pioneering technologies of the past century points to the state, not the private sector, as the most decisive player in the game.

Whether an innovation will be a success is uncertain and it can take longer than traditional banks or venture capitalists are willing to wait. In countries such as the US, China, Singapore and Denmark the state has provided the kind of patient and long-term finance new technologies need to get off the ground. Investments of this kind have often been driven by big missions, from putting a human on the moon, to solving climate change. This has required not only funding basic research – the typical “public good” that most economists admit needs state help – but applied research and seed funding too.

via State of innovation: Busting the private-sector myth | New Scientist

Παρουσίαση: Ο Γιάνης Βαρουφάκης ως επίδοξος Θουκυδίδης της Ευρωζώνης – ThePressProject

Το ουσιώδες αυτού του δόγματος είναι ότι αν οι Η.Π.Α. δεν μπορούσαν πια να ανακυκλίζουν τα πλεονάσματά τους, καθώς έχουν ολισθήσει σε μια θέση ελλείμματος, τότε θα πρέπει να ανακυκλίζουν τα πλεονάσματα των άλλων. Αυτό θα μπορούσε να επιτευχθεί με έναν συνδυασμό υψηλών επιτοκίων στη Wall Street αλλά και την προσφορά μιας προσοδοφόρου αγοράς για επενδυτές. Το κόστος, όμως, θα ήταν μια σχετική αποβιομηχάνιση των Η.Π.Α. Αυτό, λοιπόν, που άλλαξε στα τέλη της δεκαετίας του 1970 ήταν ότι αν το συνολικό σχέδιο του Volcker σήμαινε ότι θα ήταν δυνατή μια συνεχής ροή γερμανικών κεφαλαίων προς τη Wall Street, τότε μια νομισματική ένωση με τη Γαλλία θα μπορούσε να δουλέψει. Ο λόγος είναι ότι τα όλο και πιο γιγαντιαία ελλείμματα των Η.Π.Α. θα λειτουργούσαν ως μια «ηλεκτρική σκούπα» που θα απορροφούσε τα πλεονάσματα της Γερμανίας, και το γαλλικό φράγκο θα μπορούσε έτσι να είναι συνδεδεμένο με το γερμανικό μάρκο, χωρίς να δημιουργείται πληθωρισμός. Το γεγονός αυτό βέβαια δείχνει την απόλυτη αλληλεξάρτηση των συμβαινόντων στην Ευρώπη και την Αμερική, κάτι που συνέβη και το 1944-1949 και στη δεκαετία του 1970 και σήμερα. Η σημαντική παράπλευρη συνέπεια, ωστόσο, ήταν η απόλυτη χωρίς όρια χρηματιστικοποίηση.

via Παρουσίαση: Ο Γιάνης Βαρουφάκης ως επίδοξος Θουκυδίδης της Ευρωζώνης – ThePressProject

Groundhog Day Looms in Argentina as the IMF Returns | Opinion | teleSUR English

Indeed, finance capital’s renewed structural centrality is also evident in recent state spending agreements. The figures, taken from the Central Bank of the Republic of Argentina are mind-blowing. Private loan funding to service both debt repayments and for ongoing public sector projects for has increased tenfold in the first six months of the Macri government in 2016 compared to the same period last year. Such deals are tied to the vulture funds agreement and the associated bond issue. Foreign currency accumulation achieved through 1) indebtedness and financial speculation; 2) the remittance of profits and dividends abroad (restricted by the Cristina Fernandez’ administration) which has increased thirteen-fold year on year; and 3) interest payments which have more than doubled in the same timeframe, mean that current annual payments to foreign capital equate to US$10 billion. This will only increase in the foreseeable future. While the privilege of re-joining the IMF will mean that Argentina will have to indebt itself by a further US $400m, the 2016 budget approved by congress will add US$40 billion overall to the 2015 debt.

via Groundhog Day Looms in Argentina as the IMF Returns | Opinion | teleSUR English