12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
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.