Posted tagged ‘New Deal’

ANOTHER STIMULUS PACKAGE BY OBAMA?

September 22, 2010

ANOTHER STIMULUS PACKAGE BY OBAMA?

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Good evening from the paradise boondocks south of Manila!

The weather in this tropical area where I reside right today has been so fine for almost two (2) weeks now, and this is unusual for the month of September when four (4) storms pass over the country on the average. At any rate, this makes me a bit happy, enough to ruminate again about the global economy specifically the White House policy pronouncements.

I was among those analysts and development experts in my country who made a go for stimulus packages as core ‘pump priming’ strategy for staving off the ill effects of the global recession. To recall, I even went to the extent of saying my kudos for America’s own stimulus package that was pronounced late by then president Bush and then extended by the new president Obama.

Being all to familiar with pump priming, as I had been witness to how this tool was wielded every time we experienced the pains of spiraling crash right in my own country, I have been all too eager to see the tool be employed judiciously in the Northern countries (EU, USA-Canada, Japan) that have either remained flat growth-wise for successive years or crashed calamitously such as what the USA went through in 2002 and 2007.

The Obama administration had its chance of employing this tool, with no less than $800 Billion as war chest for its execution, and somehow the pump priming proved to have stopped the catastrophic collapse that went on after the implosion of the realty bubble in ‘07. As per my own textbook orientation in macro-economics, it takes two (2) years for a stimulus program to optimize the economy back from appalling sub-optimal performance accountable to a recessionary crash.

The two (2) years since the package was begun by Bush yet will end this month, as far as I can recall the beginnings of it. After the two (2) year gestation period is over, it is standard task for policy-makers and stakeholders to evaluate the overall performance of the measure. The evaluation will unveil what kinks remain that were largely un-addressed by the measure.

It is surprising on my part to learn of the latest pronouncements from the White House that the US president is again ready to launch a new stimulus package on top of the existing one, coming at a time when the first package has never been evaluated to the fullest. The next package includes tax cuts that are but a rehash of the Bush-era stimulus for big business.

I just hope that the pump priming won’t be misconstrued as rendering the stimulus tool into a permanent policy tool. Just by pronouncing that a new stimulus package is on the drawing board can already send jitters to business stakeholders as the pronouncement is a tacit acceptance of the failure to revive the economy as a whole, and that a new round of recession could be in the offing.

Maybe the White House has in mind not only the US economy but also that of its Atlantic partner Europe. Hasn’t the USA been handling fresh cash to Europe to mitigate the bursting of bubbles and gnawing crisis there? Did the White House or Federal Reserve even bother to submit a report to the US Congress about the subsidies to Europe, subsidies that should be hands-me-down to America’s laborers who continue to suffer from the ballooning unemployment in the homeland?

The White House pronouncement is also sending bad signals to Asia’s emerging markets that have already been growing appreciably over the past eight (8) months of the year. Asia’s own stock markets, financial and money markets are trembling over the Obama stimulus news, and there are now silent moves inside board rooms to map out contingency measures in case that the USA will go thru another round of recession in the aftermath of the failure of the first stimulus package to induce totally recovery.

If there is anything I can advise to the White House and Federal Reserve technocrats at this point, it is to desist from making such an untimely measure. Ensure that the most optimal results from the first stimulus package were achieved first of all, report the results to the US congress and the world community, and show clear patterns of transparency in the dealings regarding the pump priming.

If a stimulus package is utilized largely to fatten the purses of corporate executives and owners, who will then use the same to buy new yatch and spend most luxuriously for their board meetings, then the clear message is this: forget about stimulus package!!!

[Philippines, 14 September 2010]

[See: IKONOKLAST: http://erleargonza.blogspot.com,

UNLADTAU: https://unladtau.wordpress.com,

COSMICBUHAY: http://cosmicbuhay.blogspot.com,

BRIGHTWORLD: http://erlefraynebrightworld.wordpress.com, ARTBLOG: http://erleargonza.wordpress.com,

ARGONZAPOEM: http://argonzapoem.blogspot.com]

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PHYSICAL ECONOMY IN RP’S 2010 POLLS

March 23, 2010

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

The debates by presidential candidates have been reverberating the media audiences in the country for couples of weeks now. The issues have ranged from those that are social policy-oriented (subsidies to poor, health, education, housing, jobs) to macro-economic policies (sustaining growth, accelerating development) and moral policies (corruption, reproductive health). Some articulations of foreign policy were also heard from the competing gentlemen.

Seemingly confusing in their broadness, somehow the various forums for the debates (not actual debates but simply presentation of each one’s opinion about policy questions) did give a semblance of information-based campaigns by enthused candidates. This is already quite a departure from previous polls when debates were sparse and superficial, and should be lauded by observers.

What this analyst, who is a public policy expert, wishes to see clearly in the debates is the economic issue of whether to highlight the physical economy policies versus the virtual economy in the management of jobs and wealth creation by the next government. I raised this same question in the last presidential poll in the USA that pitted Senators Obama and McCain in a neck-to-neck fight. I shared my own assessment then that Sen. Obama resonated nearest to a physical economy inclination and should be supported by USA’s voters.

To reminisce a bit, the national economies saw the radical ascent of Reaganomic policies of privatization, deregulation, liberalization, and reinforcing policies beginning in 1980. Such policies led to the rapid integration of nations into a global economy, liberalized the cross-border flow of financial and monetary assets, and eventually led to the predominance of the ‘virtual economy’ based on predatory finance.

In the mid-90s, the Philippines saw its investments structure alarmingly imbalanced, with 86% or 6/7 of total comprising of portfolio capital, and only 1/7 or barely 16% in real or physical economy investments inclusive of FDIs (direct foreign investments). As early as 1989, I already raised the alarm bells that excessive radical liberalization of the economy could jeopardize the financial sector in the short run and lead to an economic collapse that could be far worst than the 1984-86 Depression of the Marcos era.

When a situation comes that the virtual economy dominates over the physical economy (agriculture, industry, S & T, transport) and subordinates the latter, a bubble is created. A bubble economy is one that grows on the basis of speculations in stocks and predatory operations of financial derivatives (secondary debt papers traded in the global market), and is bound to collapse when a burst comes since it isn’t based on tangible goods.

Surely enough, when the bubble burst in Thailand in June 1996, the ‘butterfly effect’ of a mini-flapping of wings created a storm across a vast region. We then dubbed that crisis as the ‘Asian financial meltdown’. The economies and financial institutions that had the greatest exposure to portfolio finance suffered the most.

The worst was yet to come though, as the USA had to wait for 2007 before it would experience its own crash, a catastrophic crash that spread to Europe and Japan (twas barely out of a decade-long recession). The same bubble economy and its predictable burst led to the crash, a recession that hasn’t fully retreated yet. Europe is still in flames today (watch the financial flames in Greece, Spain, Finland), while Japan remains as flat as it was during its 10-year crisis (1994-2004).

The fact of the matter is that, in a virtual economy, the predatory financiers (bankers included) gain the most, while the people pay the price for the collapse. And the payment comes in the form of ‘stimulus package’ that are derived from tax revenues. So the equation is that financiers run away with the massive loot, and the people pay for the cost of the looting crime. The culprits then run away largely unpunished, while the people face the punitive flames of massive business closures, retrenchment, unemployment, and bad debts.

In my book Fair Trade & Food Security (Kaisampalad publication, 2005/07), I emphatically stressed that we have to reverse the free market and free trade policies to be able to regain economic wellness. Reversal means we have to go back to the principles of regulated economy (production, trade, distribution, consumption), and replace free trade with fair trade in our international trade.

Strong regulatory frameworks, coupled with strong institutions and good governance, will redound to bringing back the physical economy into place. With the economy based on the physical or real economy, this country and any country for that matter will weather any economic storm both local and global. There is ample funds to pay national debts, balance the budget, fund social programs, create jobs, and increase wages.

Among all presidential candidates, only that of Senator Manny Villar so far resonates the strongest in terms of echoing the physical economy. This resonance could be explained by the fact that the noblesse legislator immersed himself in housing & infrastructures for the longest time of his life as an entrepreneur, and only fractionally engaged in speculative engagements. Besides, he was witness to the maelstrom on the realty sector caused by the bubble burst of ’97, a burst that wasn’t of his own making as it was the maneuverings of George Soros & pals via currency attacks (monetary markets) that led to the meltdown.

I hope you would agree with me that the slogan for this year’s polls would be: “It’s the physical economy, stupid!”

[Philippines, 19 March 2010]

2009 ECONOMIC FORECASTS: DEPRESSION, INTERVENTIONISM, REVERSAL

January 26, 2009

Erle Frayne Argonza

Magandang hapon! Good afternoon!

2009 will be another bleak year economically, more so for the North (USA, EU, Japan are topmost). The recession that began with the subprime mortgage bubble burst in America in 07, will ensue with even mightier turbulence, as there are no coherent policy solutions of a strategic nature that can salve the economic ailment on a global scale.

As already articulated by this economist/analyst in various articles, the policy environment must be changed and regulatory mechanisms strengthened to immediately gain business confidence and reverse the tide of catastrophe. On the domestic front, the solution begins by following a New Deal type of policy set, which will bring back the fervor of production-driven growth and full employment. On the international/global front, a new financial architecture must be agreed upon via a global summit called for the purpose, akin to a New Bretton Woods.

The only intervention mechanisms we observe today are bailouts of failing financial and business institutions, which are toxically immoral as those criminal oligarchs are even rewarded for their sordid looting and corrupt practices. Only Russia and China have openly resorted to a New Deal type solution, in consonance with the practices of the late regime of Franklin Delano Roosevelt of the USA. As far as the international-global front is concerned, the concurrence of a new treaty that will resonate a new financial architecture is nowhere in sight.

In the absence of genuine solutions that can stabilize ailing economies on both the domestic and international fronts, the downward spirals will continue, until the economies of the North will hit rock bottom depression that will be worse than the one that crashed the USA, UK and Germany almost a century ago (USA, UK, Germany were then the world’s top industrial & military powers). In the absence of capital control policies up North, capital flight will ensue at dizzying speed, draining their respective countries of trillions of dollars and/or euros at levels far higher than the 2008 drain.
The smart money that will sneak out will find better shelters in the South (emerging markets notably East Asia + India).

The possibility of North-based companies transferring their headquarters to the South is not entirely ruled out. The other option is for the corporate owners to transfer domicile from the North to the South, leaving their ailing mother companies in the hands of trusted stewards. The era of distance remote control-type management by corporate owners could very well begin this year, which will modify corporate governance by no small means.

The positive light for the global economy is that finally the corporate and state leaders will see light at the end of the tunnel and call for a global conference to carve out a new financial architecture. Laissez faire, a cadaver doctrine before the 2nd world war that was revived by the monetarists and greedy financiers, will finally lay to rest as it gives way to dirigist or interventionist economics.
Stronger regulatory mechanisms may be charted this year too, at least on paper.

New Deal, Keynesian, and welfare state doctrines will be blended together to produce an eclectic admixture. Since New Deal has an international facet into it thus rendering it more comprehensive, as the late FDR cogitated the need for international cooperation and development for all countries to end all wars and foment lasting peace, this doctrine will more or less be followed. We will not be surprised if, after the Davos conference, the shape of the future will already be definitively of the New Deal type.

Conclusively, even if the Northern economies will flatten down to zero and/or negative growths, the downward spiral may stop by the last quarter of the year. The full effects of the intervention solutions won’t be felt this year though, as it will take some more years to get them to galvanize. So let us brace for more turbulent winds, while hoping that the storm would finally stop so we can enjoy a delightful holiday season comes December.

[26 January 2009, Quezon City, MetroManila]

HEALING GLOBAL ECONOMY VIA NEW FINANCIAL ARCHITECTURE

November 30, 2008

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

Magandang hapon! Good afternoon! Buenos tardes!

At this juncture, this economist, who is also a healer (pranic healer, soul healer, psychosocial counselor), will begin to articulate economic problems from a wellness vantage point. I will be calling the paradigm ‘healing economics’ as a fusion of wellness principles and economic analysis.

If we observe the ‘treatment’ applied by public policy experts on national economies today, we would see that the solutions to the problems are largely short-term ones that only mitigate economic collapse for a while. We can call them ‘band aid’ solutions to problems that are more of ‘cancerous’ in nature, and by common sense we know that band aid cannot cure cancer.

The economies of our nations have already been integrated over the last three (3) decades or so. This integration constituted the ‘global economy’ which is distinct from national economies and which manifest its own laws. National economies have become interstices or tissues of the global economy, and trying to cure ailing national economies without taking into consideration the wellness of the whole global economy will fail.

What is now urgently most needed, as a formula for enabling healthy national economies, is to put into place a new global ‘financial architecture’ as a beginning treatment. There is no way that economies can heal without the proper macro-policies and institutional frames that support them, and those policies cum institutions must be constructed at the global level.

Just by using that ‘global’ category as a yardstick, we can see that the solution of bank bailouts being rushed in the USA and echoed in Europe are not the long-term salvation to the ailment. That bailout route was already tried in Japan in the 1990s, it was then called ‘crisis management’, and it resulted to a 12-year recession-to-low growth catastrophe. Japan became the “sick man of Asia” for a decade, which was unbelievable for observers who knew this country’s economic might all along.

If there are certain realities that we must admit as having already turned into dead carcasses, they are:

·        Virtual or Bubble Economy: Economy that is founded on speculation, with values derived from out of financial values themselves and divorced from production, cannot be sustained for long. It is finally DEAD. Only fools would still think that reviving it, without regulating and/or criminalizing the economic predators that thrived on it, is the soundest healing work preferred. Nobody needs to heal a dead thing, just bury it deep below the ground, lest you create a zombie or vampire out of it.

 

·        Free Market of Currencies. Treating currencies like commodities that are tradable without sufficient regulation, is voodoo paradigm of ‘monetarism’. This is now DEAD. It can never work, it doesn’t, and will never work under any given context. Free market doctrine (laissez faire)), in the first place, was long dead. It was a doctrine that was enforced by the British Empire, through the “power of the gun,” and supported the slave trade business. To revive such a doctrine in the current context—guiding trade and exchanges in the monetary-currency markets—is plain voodoo practice, as it fattens the purses of economic predators at the expense of national economies and marginal social sectors.

The route to strategic healing, which combines ‘preventive’ with ‘curative’ treatments, is through a new ‘global financial architecture’. This can be and should be done most urgently, as the carcasses are now spreading havoc of ailments across the planet, through a global conference of all the nation-states. Through this conference, proper diagnostics can be done, with the help of top experts, including those representing marginal sectors, and proper treatment can also be conjured.  

An outline of agenda items for deep reflections in such a treaty-making conference would be as follows:

·        Shift Back to Regulated Trading of Currencies/Monies. Money is the lifeblood of the economy. As such, no private group or whatsoever should be allowed to play it like gambling toys just to fatten their already fat pockets. Private stakeholders that gamble in the currency markets are like cancerous corpuscles in the blood vessel, their operations must be well regulated and certain trading activities declared as banned.

 

·        Securitize Currencies with Precious Metals. A reconstruction of the gold standard should be done most quickly. This system was junked in 1971 yet, and look at the catastrophic result of its folding up. Not only gold, but certain other precious metals and crystals, such as diamonds, can be declared as securitization measures to guide money production within any country at any given time.

 

·        Fixed Exchange Rates. National currencies are still around. In no way should they be forcibly junked in favor of a global currency, which is too premature a measure. Within a period of transition, of say 25 years, national currencies should be the chief legal tender, exchangeable based on fixed exchange rate policy.

 

·        Tobin Tax on Cross-border Financial Transactions. All cross-border financial-monetary transactions, done as matter of business engagement, should be imposed a Tobin Tax, the amount of which will be defined in the conference. The revenues generated from such tax will then be used to fund the United Nations and its attached institutions (UNESCO, WHO, ILO, etc). Through this measure, all cross-border transactions can also be monitored, making it easier for international enforcers (e.g. Interpol) to counter-check sabotage and related criminal operations by predators.

 

·        Ban or Criminalize Excessive Speculation. Excessive speculation of currency markets and related financial transactions must be banned and declared as crime. Those engagements of ‘currency attacks’ that have wrecked many economies are on top of the agenda for criminalization. Till these days, they remain unchecked, due to free trade principles in currency and financial trading.       

 

·        Ban Banks from Derivatives Operations. Banks should operate largely in support of developmental and re-development pursuits. In no case should any country be allowed unrestrained speculative and/or derivatives operations that leave the banks vulnerable to collapse.   

 

·        End Usury One and For All. For as long as usury remains, poverty and underdevelopment will never end, while once wealthy economies can crash back into 3rd world status. Usury must be criminalized as an evil  act, thus ending once and for all a long history of predatory hoarding.

 

·        Create New Global Financial Institution. To enforce and monitor the new financial architecture put into place, a new global financial architecture or GFI should be installed as well. The international Monetary Fund is a total failure, even as it was used as a mere tool by predatory financiers to extract usurious rents and disable national economies through immoral austerity measures. In the long run, this GFI can be considered as the infrastructure for a global central bank, should cooperating states approve it in principle.    

 

Incidentally, the clamor for installing a new financial architecture is now getting stronger by the day. I am very optimistic that this will be concurred in due time, for failure to do so would prolong the agony of global economic collapse and decline. Let us cross our fingers that it will be called for very soon.

[Writ 28 November 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]

OBAMA VICTORY: ‘14th BRUMAIRE ‘ OF US TECHNOCRACY, HEALING BEGINS

November 6, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

From my highland nest in Manila goes Big Kudos to Barack Obama & US Democrats!

My first elation has to do with the fact that Obama represents my generation of ‘post-industrial babies’, comprising of those aged 55 and younger. Obama represents a broader worldwide trend of leaders who are veering away from intolerant/polarized values towards one of ‘tolerance for difference’. My  generation is the first among the emerging ‘global citizens’, and I could hardly wait to see various sectors worldwide taken over by the most competent and enlightened ones among us, as exemplified by Obama’s take  of the US presidency.

Another source of elation is the fact that Obama is a Black man, the first one ever elected as president in America. His victory sends a clear signal to many countries across the globe—dominated by Whites as majority populace—that the time for change has come. Just across the border, in Mexico, the citizens are still accustomed to choosing a White Man as president: White, and Male. Quite a bit further, down south in Argentina, it’s still White country there, and I wish the minority Colored people or Colorados will get to be Chief Executive, whether they are male or female.

Finally, a source of euphoria over Obama’s victory is his being funded largely by the people’s purses. True, there were fund donations from the wealthy families, but to say that their pockets constituted the cutting edge funding would be to disregard those aggregates of monies that in-flowed to Obama’s campaign coffers from out of ‘couples of dollar bills’ donations from the workers & middle classes. I would dare say that the people’s purses comprised the cutting edge in funding, for the 1st TIME, which has many governance implications for Obama’s Team.

There are certain sociopathic elements in America, represented by the perennial Democrat candidate Lyndon LaRouche, who have been peddling the allegation that George Soros, through his subaltern Felix Rohatyn, were behind the bulk of funds for Obama. In some other articles published early this year, LaRouche kept on peddling the noxious allegation that Mafia groups were behind Obama’s making as a politician, and that, ipso facto, his funding would come largely from the same criminal rings.

Were it not for LaRouche’s sociopathic and fascistic tendencies, I should really find many of the facts and thoughts that he generated as worth our reflections. Let us challenge the likes of LaRouche to come out with evidences, and file criminal charges in proper channels such as the US Senate, and they better desist from further slanderous and libelous accusations against a political team that is outside of their poll choices.

The people’s purse option, let me repeat, has deep governance implications. It is indicative, first of all, of the immense constituency participation during the polls, which clearly created for them (people) a status as co-partner of the Obama Team. Second, the people’s purse option gave the clear mandate to the Obama Team, comprising largely of noblesse technocrats, that it can exercise a ‘relative autonomy’ from diverse interest groups particularly the financier-technocratic-military elites.

I would prefer to see the Obama victory as a ‘14th Brumaire of the US Technocracy’, which is a very laudable feat, precisely as a result of that people purse option. 14th Brumaire refers to that moment in history when Louis Bonaparte declared a coup d’etat in France, a grand act of defiance against the oligarchy that enabled him to exercise ‘relative autonomy’ from the latter. The governance implication of such an act is that the Strong Man was able craft and enforced policy initiatives, unhampered by the pestering demands of ensconced elites.

Obama won his coup equivalent by way of the electoral path, with aid from a vibrant electoral constituency and allied politicians who also buttressed his victory with additional seats in both houses of the US Congress. With solid grounds of support from both the people and the legislative allies, Obama has been practically offered the policy initiative on a golden platter by the electoral heaven of social contract. And the good image exuded by this Team was that of a change-directing Technocracy rather than that of a rambunctious Pedagogue of dangerously perverse hoi polloi.     

With such a grand opportunity of mandate, the Obama Team is enabled to re-engineer the policy environment of America on its initiatives. Lobby groups and ‘whispering mafias’ representing the elites do not have a business making demands on this Team, and must be kept at bay, in practice more than in words as promised by Obama.

The Obama Team should also use this ‘14th Brumaire’ mandate to begin a long process of healing. The healing work is quite complex, as it entails tasks both on the domestic and international fronts. This healing can begin by the shift in tact from that of the previous hawkishness of the neo-conservatives to the dovish aura of Wilson-Roosevelt-Kennedy greats.

For my own country, Obama should not forget the 1 Million+ Filipinos who died during America’s invasion of the nascent republic, many of whom died as ‘collateral damage’ of a genocidal campaign. White House and Congress should better release their respective statements of apology to my nation, dubbed as populated by “brown monkeys with no tails” by the White combatants (T. Agoncillo, History of the Filipino People). Coupled with this is the return of the Balangiga Bells that were  looted by the US Army after leveling the town of Balangiga in Samar province, with all town folks butchered and all visible structures burned to the ground (ibid).

Obama must also remember the 1 Million+ Filipinos who died during World War II, or who died defending the interest of America in the Far East. Many of the living veterans of that war are waiting for their additional just subsidies, their bones now almost disabled from mobility. World War II was never our war, but was one among the world powers’, and look at what the cruelties and genocidal butchers our people got from defending America here.

Authentic healing will take several decades to undertake. But there is no harm involved by beginning the process now. The Native Americans and Colorados of the USA are expectant, and so are those peoples who suffered from America’s imperialistic adventurisms overseas. Begin the healing now, and put a final end to the USA as Empire.

The Obama electoral coup is total, his technocratic Team’s autonomy ensured. He cannot fail to deliver results as expected, and he must translate that ‘relative autonomy’ into more solid healing and prosperity feats. His massive constituencies must help the Team in this colossal task, to ensure galvanization par excellence, rather than just wait passively for results.

Cheers! Kudos to the Obama Team! Mabuhay!

[Writ 06 November 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]

RE-ECHOING ROOSEVELT’S ‘PHYSICAL ECONOMY’ SOLUTIONS TO GLOBAL FINANCIAL COLLAPSE

July 27, 2008

Erle Frayne Argonza

My beloved country remembers the late Franklin Delano Roosevelt very well. It was his presidency that paved the way for preparing the Philippines as an independent state, by first granting the country the status of a commonwealth with its own constitution (1935 Constitution), and by permitting such domestic government to prepare the legislative measures and policy environment for a future independent state (granted independence in 1946).

Roosevelt’s regime also paved the way for the developmental paradigm that would propel the Philippines along the road to industrialization (we now term this as Import-Substitution Industrialization). The paradigm, based on the works of previous thinkers Alexander Hamilton, Friedrich von List, and the exemplar development policies of Abraham Lincoln, puts great stress on the ‘physical economy’ as the foundation for a prosperous and mighty economy in the long run.

Roosevelt further went on to cogitate that colonialism should fold up after the war, and that all former colonies must follow the road to development and prosperity, this being the road to genuine international peace and cooperation. The international doctrine of Roosevelt became the foundation for post-war cooperation, and buttressed the founding of the Bretton Woods agencies whose mandates were propelled precisely by the physical economy framework, the need for undertaking development in the former colonies, and the need to regulate national currencies via fixed exchange rate backed by the gold standard.

The current circumstance is now too remote from the ‘physical economy’ policy regime of the post-war era. Economic liberalization policies led to globalization and the galvanization of the ‘virtual economy’ based on predatory finance. The ‘virtual economy’ had led to de-industrialization, agricultural decay, decline of S&T, and deteriorating infrastructures in the most affected economies, and had fragmented developing states into ‘failed states’.

The global financial system created by the relentless liberalization of financial, fiscal and monetary policies across borders, had already collapsed and is beyond salvation using the present intervention tools that now seem to be burnt out tools altogether. A global conference must be convened most urgently to carve out a new financial architecture based on a ‘physical economy’ framework, and to decisively criminalize predatory finance.

Below is a press release of relevant notes on the global financial collapse, by the economist Lyndon LaRouche.

[27 July 2008, Quezon City, Metromanila. Thanks to the Executive Intelligence Review database news.]

 

LaRouche: Financial System Is Dead, Cannot Be Saved

July 13, 2008 (EIRNS)—This release was issued today by the Lyndon LaRouche Political Action Committee (LPAC).

With the U.S. and British financial press full of wild speculation about how the Bush Administration is going to intervene Monday morning, to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Lyndon LaRouche today issued a sharp, preemptive warning: “The financial system is already dead. It cannot be saved.”

LaRouche expanded: “If any of the reports of a planned bailout of the two big mortgage lenders, by the Treasury Department or the Federal Reserve are true, I say, ‘Forget it.’ Any such efforts to delay the funeral of the present global financial and monetary system will only make matters worse. A bailout will cause an accelerated hyperinflationary explosion, far worse than the hyperinflation that hit Weimar Germany in the autumn of 1923. Back then,” LaRouche continued, “Germany had a gun pointed to its head. The gun was called the Versailles Treaty, and Germany had no choice. Today, the United States has a choice. I spelled out the choice in numerous recent locations.”

LaRouche cited his recent call for the Federal Reserve to immediately raise interest rates to 4 percent, as a stop-gap measure to prevent a massive flight of institutional capital from the banking system. He demanded that this move be accompanied by clear statements from the Fed that there will be no more Bear Stearns-style bailouts of the speculative bubble. Instead, the Fed will protect the chartered Federal and state banks, through bankruptcy reorganization, on the model of what Franklin Roosevelt did, when he first took office in March 1933, and faced the same kind of collapse of the banking system that we face now. “Only, today’s crisis is orders of magnitude worse,” LaRouche added, “due to the massive leveraging by the banks and other financial institutions.”

LaRouche warned that Bush Administration and Fed officials, like Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke, may be on an “ego trip—unwilling to admit that they have failed miserably. But the reality is that they, like the George W. Bush Administration, have failed, with wretched incompetence. For one thing, they failed to reverse the Alan Greenspan monster bubble, which is now blowing.”

LaRouche added that there is no way to even estimate the magnitude of the financial bubble, that has now blown. “The collapse of Fannie and Freddie means the end of the system. And that has already happened, and nothing can be done, within the rules of the current system, to solve that problem. We can keep Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac alive, but only through actions reforming the system, in terms echoing the precedents of President Franklin Roosevelt, that in ways appropiate for the actual conditions of today.

“The only alternative is to implement my three-step solution to the crisis,” LaRouche concluded. “If the so-called leadership in Washington is unwilling to do that, then this financial system, and, by extension, these United States, are finished. It may be a tough reality to swallow, but it is the only reality that there is.”

Lyndon LaRouche will be delivering an international webcast on Tuesday, July 22, 2008, at 1:00 p.m. (EDT). The webcast takes place on the first anniversary of LaRouche’s July 25, 2007 Washington, D.C. webcast address, in which he announced that the financial system had already crashed. Days later, the collapse of Countrywide, and other major mortgage lenders, and the blowout of Bear Stearns, illustrated that LaRouche was 100% correct.

US WATCH: INFRASTRUCTURE DECAY, NEEDS MASSIVE REDEVELOPMENT

July 19, 2008

Erle Frayne  Argonza

A bridge has fallen, the Mississipi river flooded Orleans like some pathetic third world city, airports are too cramped up as they are incapable of containing the surge in passenger & cargo levels, the East Coast experienced the emergency shut down due to grid overload (causing massive blackout), railway tracks are thinning out and overall capacity is on downward trend, and more.

They seem to be unrelated, but for economists and sociologists the trends all tell the same story. Pieced up together, they indicate crumbling infrastructures. Not because the structural engineers of America are sloppy, and definitely not that the heavy equipment sector couldn’t provide quality machines to reinforce the burgeoning infrastructure need of the juggernaut US economy.

The true story is that, as the economy shifted to the ‘virtual economy’, there was the systematic abandonment of infrastructure as a priority for fiscal and budgetary allocations. “Leave that to the private sector!” was the slogan for infrastructure. Even the famed fast lanes of America are already being sold out one after the other to the highest bidders, financial speculators all led by the likes of Felix Rohatyn & partners, thanks to deregulation and liberalization.

The thing is, most of America’s major infrastructures—airports, wharfs, roads, bridges, dikes, dams, power distribution, and more public works—were built in the 50s and 60s yet, at the height of the post-war boom under the aegis of the New Deal. Such infrastructures now require massive renovation, with entire replacement for those decaying beyond salvaging.

Did the civil engineers of America speak about the matter clearly? They did, and they have been saying alarming things since the 1990s yet. At the height of the ‘bridge over troubled water’ fiasco, they came out with the report that ¼ of America’s roads and bridges needed major repairs and replacements as soon as possible.

The other sectors’ experts have spoken as well. In the airlines industry, no less than state officials have forewarned that if no renovations (toward expansion) will be done on airports in 10 years’ time, there will be major crisis in the airlines sector. The possibility of emerging markets overshooting the USA’s cutting edge in air transport delivery also looms ahead in the short run.

With no reversal of policies in sight, chances are that, in 20 years’ time, the USA will be an apocalyptic landscape of fallen bridges, impassable roads, rotten wharfs, fallen dikes and inoperable dams, rotten buildings left to nature, and forest cover claiming back once bustling cities.

Only a timely policy reversal can nip the apocalyptic future in the bud. That is, if the political bigwigs in the coming election—McCain and Obama—do their homework well, comprehend the problem deeply, and begin large-scale strategic solutions to colossal problems in infrastructures.

[Writ 06 June 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila.]