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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful explanation of the crisis,
This review is from: Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century (Paperback)Michel Chossudovsky is Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa, and Andrew Marshall is a Research Associate with the Center for Research on Globalization. This collection presents evidence of the infamy of the current world order, which one author, Claudia von Werlhof, calls the New World War order.
The big lie is that the economy is safely on the road to recovery, because the basics are sound. In fact, the ruling class is attacking wages and democracy. It is war at home and abroad. Under finance capital, the First World is `developing' into the Third World, just as the Second World has already done.
The Bank for International Settlements, the only international body to predict the crisis, warned that the biggest risk is that bond investors would make governments abandon their stimulus packages, and instead slash spending while raising taxes and interest rates.
The deregulation of the US banking system gave unprecedented powers to Wall Street firms to seize banks all over the world. The bailouts fund mergers and acquisitions of smaller rivals. Governments are privatising the state, not nationalising the banks. The banks impose conditions on governments (cut public services, privatise everything), not vice versa. As Sir Josiah Stamp, Director of the Bank of England, wrote decades ago, "if you want to continue to be the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let bankers continue to create money and control credit."
Concentrated capital exploits impoverished labour, wresting more profits from more workers. Under growing corporatism, governments subsidise capitalists via PFIs, bail-outs, arms deals and tax breaks.
Speculation by the huge monopolies that run the commodity markets hikes up food, water and fuel prices, adding from 30 to 60 per cent to the price of a barrel of oil. Between March 2007 and May 2008, the price of grain staples increased by 88 per cent. The price of wheat rose by 181 per cent between 2005 and 2008 and the price of rice tripled between 2003 and 2008.
One of Marshall's essays exposes the European Union as capitalist, corporatist and anti-democratic. When the world's capitalist classes created the World Trade Organization in a 1995 coup, EU members at once adopted all its agreements - the Multilateral Agreement on Investments, the General Agreement on Trade in Services, the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and the Agreement on Agriculture. All enforced global corporate rule.
60 per cent of the world's oil and gas reserves are in the Middle East and Central Asia. US General Wesley Clark cited a statement in 2001 by a Pentagon official that the USA had `a five-year campaign plan ... beginning with Iraq, then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Iran, Somalia and Sudan'. Then followed the US-British attack on Iraq, the Israeli attack on Lebanon in 2006, the recent splitting of Sudan, NATO's war against Libya, the sanctions against Syria, the constant threats to Iran and the chaos in Somalia. A NATO-Israeli military agreement obliges NATO to back an Israeli attack on Iran; in 2009 Israel's air defence system was integrated into NATO's.
The drug wars against Afghanistan and Colombia have only produced huge increases in cocaine and heroin production there. It would almost seem that these wars protect the drug trade and the resulting despatch of billions of narco-dollars into the US banking system.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Economic chaos and confusion explained.,
This review is from: Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century (Paperback)Explains in laymen terms how the global economic crisis came to be and destroys all the mainstream myths about banks and economics. Well worth a read for anyone wanting to understanding what's really going on in this world.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a mess...... I mean, the world, not the book!,
This review is from: Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century (Paperback)As this book has been written by several people I will review each part as I finish them!
I will start with Chapter 1 by Michel Chossudosvsky. This is the first time I have read anything by this author and in the meanwhile I saw that he wrote another book that might interest me (Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order) but to be honest... although I think that what he has to say is quite important all the repetitions put me off ever reading something else written by him! Maybe I am wrong and this other book isn't full of repetitions, the fact is that this one is!
But this is an important book nevertheless, for all those who want to know what this crisis is all about. Actually.... it should be read by anybody who walks around in this world! We are being told so many lies..... So many people still believe that they have to contribute more so that our grandchildren will have a better life, etc, etc.... all rubbish and if you didn't know that, you can find out in this book! At the end of his chapter the author gives some advice of how things could change, very wise advice but it will never work! Without wanting to sound pessimistic I think that the rich elite know very well what they are doing and they also know very well how to deal with any unrest. It is too late for that! In order for it to work everybody in this world had to get up and bring these criminals to justice but too many people are so brain-washed that this will never happen! I would have liked if he had also mentioned aid to the third world, one of the biggest scams all times and it is difficult to comprehend that countries that are bankrupt borrow more and more for aid that never, ever reaches the poor anywhere!
Chapter 2 - Not that interesting.... No repetitions but not much substance! The most interesting bit are the opening sentences in italic!
Chapter 3 - Some interesting facts although I don't agree with the authors' concern that "single-family homes construction has fallen to a 26 year low". I don't really know what is the reality in the USA as far as this goes but I think that they have the same problem you see here in Europe: existing houses are not selling but more and more are built in order to keep the industry alive! So, not really a problem if building and therefore wrecking of nature slows down! Also we might think that capitalism is inherently flawed but the ones on the receiving end won't and for the time being they hold the power! There is an interesting bit about how all the wealth is concentrated in very few hands with some facts I didn't know like the fact that from 1990 to 2002 for each added dollar made by those in the bottom 90% those in the uppermost 0,01% made an additional 18.000 (from 1950 to 1970 it was 162 dollars). Staggering figures.... Also of interest, the fact that although we consume a lot less because we don't have the money to do it, consumption went up due to people working longer hours, having more than one job and because of two earner households. But people still believe that they have to work harder and mothers have a duty to go out and work instead of looking after their families!
Chapter 4 - Although the author seems to be a real expert on the subject with loads of books published in lots of languages I found it badly organized and often got lost. My fault I suppose.... It contains interesting facts, nevertheless! One fact has changed, in the meanwhile, the troops are out of Iraq but well, he couldn't know that! Something I don't agree with is where he says that if minimum wages and unemployment benefits were doubled that would increase demand and would stimulate the economy. Yes, people could spend more but lots of benefits have been fatal here in Europe! Interestingly enough the author refers to Obama's government as being a regime. At least here in Europe the word regime is only used for government the West doesn't approve of so well done to show the world that there are rotten regimes in the West itself! I remember when people voted for Obama I would say based on his skin color and were all shedding a tear of excitement.... well, now they will be shedding other tears!
Chapter 5 - Maybe one of the best chapters so far. I have never been into globalization but I seemed to be the only one who didn't agree with it. This chapter is all about Globalization and Neoliberalism. I agree with the author, globalization is not inevitable, on the contrary, it should maybe have been avoided! The author believes in Global Warming, a belief I don't share. Very interesting section "Neoliberalism justifies robbery and Pillage"!
Chapter 6 - This chapter talks about things like how we are being lied to by being told over and over again that the economy has hit rock bottom (never true as it always seems to fall further...), how we have "turned the corner", things weren't "as bad as expected", only to keep us quiet! The disaster all the cuts in the economy are for an economy dependent on consumer spending (I always wonder about that, if we can't spend how is the economy supposed to survive?). What will replace consumer spending? How trade unions were brought to their knees, etc. Right now I live in a place where taxes are low and people are well paid. The result is a healthy, happy looking population where businesses seem to thrive. Cafés are always full of people who have money and time to enjoy it. How old-fashioned..... but it gives me a great feeling!
Chapter 7 - Another chapter by Michel Chossudovsky, again with quite a few repetitions as all his chapters seem to be! But very interesting! This chapter is part of Part II about Poverty and Unemployment. The frightening thing is that the whole planet is going to hell and no one seems to be able to avoid disaster. He shows how food prices escalate creating famine for whole populations and even more wealth for a few (funny enough we are called to give even more money to charity, meaning... the extremely wealthy!). The truth is that there is more than enough food to feed everybody but it never seems to reach those who need it. Also the increasing of the price of water is a huge problem, again, profiting a few to the detriment of whole populations. Throughout this book the role of the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO is clearly stated and my conclusion is that these are criminal organizations but.... not many see it!
Chapter 8 - Poverty and Social Inequality. How prices don't cease to go up while wages lay flat for many years or even drop. According to some authors the plans of the New World Order are for the world to be populated by paupers and ruled by a small, extremely rich elite. I think that we are heading there really fast! According to the author there is more wealth now than ever before but concentrated in very few hands!
Chapter 9 - Part III is about War, National Security and World Government. This chapter is about War and the Economic Crisis. Although most people don't realize it both are interconnected. The US always seems to be behind most uprises in the world, if not all, and always for its own profit. For those who don't believe that the US was in some way connected to 9/11 read this book and you will find some interesting details.
Chapter 10 - I found it a bit more difficult to read but that is because I am in no way an economic expert, just inhabit this planet and am therefore interested in what is going on here! But it contains some interesting facts about how countries have no choice but to finance the US military spending.
I won't review the remaining chapters or else my review would become far too long and maybe that wouldn't be of interest but I hope to have given prospective readers an idea of what the book is about. Worth reading indeed...... Instead of concentrating so much effort in teaching children about sex maybe schools should take a few topic from books like this!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars `Free trade, piracy, war - an inseparable three' (Goethe - Faust II),
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This review is from: Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century (Paperback)What this hard-hitting book makes crystal clear is the fact that the Western world is dominated by a tiny super-wealthy elite, whose political, economic, financial, social and military policies are interwoven in order to further their worldwide dominance.
Economic and social policies
Free markets don't exist. An example: a small number of global corporations have the ability to determine the prices of food staples quoted on the commodity exchanges, directly affecting the standard of living of billions of people.
Neoliberalism with its gospel of deregulation and liberalization of prices, foreign trade and investments and of downsizing of the public sector is simply part of a hegemonic project of concentration of power and wealth.
Economic slumps are used to launch class wars against workers by pushing down labor costs. The only goal of relocations is the generation of greater profits.
Political issues and freedom
The main aim of the world elite is the creation of a world government, thereby eliminating democratic rule. Freedom should only be reserved for corporations. Citizens are only useful as consumers and for the socializing of losses, as has been the case in the recent bank bail outs worldwide. Those who created the crisis were also the greatest beneficiaries of the elected civil government's largesse.
The media, controlled by the powerful, are creating a web of deceit and a virtual world for the plebeians.
Geopolitically, there is already an economic war going on between two blocs: US/NATO v. China/Russia.
Financial markets are rigged by prior knowledge and inside information, together with the spreading of misleading or fake dispatches and alarms. The recent financial meltdown has been conducive to a massive concentration of bank power.
Central banks are working behind the scenes with their financial weapons (money supply, interest rates, credit). They can destroy a nation and bankrupt whole populations.
Until now, the role of the US dollar as the only world reserve currency remains paramount. It permits the privately owned Federal Reserve to create limitless fiat money out of nothing. It could be replaced by a global world currency printed by a privately owned Global Central Bank, like the BIS in Basel.
The first and foremost remedy is peace, not war, because war enriches the upper class which controls the war industry. Wars are also used for the restructuring of the world economy.
The second remedy is an overhaul of the function and the ownership of the Central Banks and the BIS. Banks should not be controlled by special interests, but by democratically elected governments.
This outspoken book, written by superb free minds, is a must read for all those who want to understand the world we live in.
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Global Economic Crisis: The Great Depression of the XXI Century by Michel Chossudovsky (Paperback - 25 May 2010)