Feed on

Dr. Rasmus traces the decline of Democracy under Trump, a process on-going since the advent of Neoliberalism. Topics include: the transformation of the political parties, actions by the Supreme Court on behalf of money in politics, spread of gerrymandering and voter suppression, expansion of the lobbyist state, revolving doors, attacks on civil liberties and restrictions on bill of rights guarantees, etc. How decline of Democracy has accelerated since 2008 crisis and now under Trump. Examples of Trump attempts to usurp constitutional role of Congress and his trend to favor himself as above the law (e. g. tyranny). The linkages between Neoliberalism in crisis and decline of Democracy. In the second half of the show an interview and discussion is held with union and community leaders holding a conference in Cleveland on December 7 to plan the creation of a third political party as the solution to restore Democracy.

First half of today’s show reviews latest attacks on unions, in particular the ILWU longshore workers, and how Apple Corp. and other big companies CEOs and senior management ‘scam’ stock buybacks to enrich themselves directly from the buybacks. How Apple Board Directors like Al Gore make tens of millions of dollars a year from the buybacks scam. Rasmus then debunks the growing business-media spin that the US economy has ‘turned the corner’ and no recession is in view. How leading indicators, investment, manufacturing, jobs, and even early evidence of consumption indicate otherwise.   The theme of Neoliberalism is revisited further once again, continuing recent weeks’ discussions. Why the Neoliberal policy mix (Fiscal-Monetary-Industrial-Trade) is becoming less and less effective due to maturing forces behind capitalist economic evolution. Rasmus explains how new technologies (power generation, electrical storage, artificial intelligence, machine learning. Uber and Amazon ‘effects’ and business models of the future, etc. are together undermining Neoliberal policy effectiveness and spell its doom next decade. (For a more detail treatment of the ‘natural restructuring of capitalist production, distribution, and finance’ now underway, threatening the future evolution of Neoliberal policy,  read chapter 9 of Dr. Rasmus latest book, ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump’ available at discount from his blog, jackrasmus.com). Next week: How Neoliberalism Destroys US Democracy’.

The first part of today’s show reviews the latest developments in the US-China mini-trade deal negotiations and latest snapshot of US economic manufacturing, investment, and retail sales-consumption. Thereafter

Dr. Rasmus continues the analysis of Neoliberalism in crisis topic of last week, explaining how Obama failed to restore it to full effect in the wake of the 2008-09 crash and how Trump represents the attempt to restore it in a new, more virulent 2.0 form. The fundamental main policy propositions of Neoliberalism are restated and how Trump has fared to date in each area are addressed. Big success by Trump in restoration have occurred in business-investor tax cutting and increases in war-defense spending, but failure in social program spending cuts and containing escalating deficits and debt. Trump industrial policy has also been successful, with deepening of deregulation, privatization, continued wage compression, benefits cost reductions, and other areas. Neoliberal monetary policy of chronic low interest rates remains a work in progress as Trump fights the Fed over rate reduction but the Fed slowly falls in line. Neoliberal ‘External’ policy (trade, currency exchange rate, FDI money flows) represents Trump’s major failure at restoration, however, as the trade war produces little result and reduces investment and growth globally and increasingly as well in the US. (A more complete analysis is available in Dr. Rasmus’ just released book, ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump’ available on his blog, jackrasmus.com, along with recent articles on the topic). Next week: the material forces at work undermining a restoration of Neoliberalism under Trump and his successors.

 In the second half hour of the show Dr. Rasmus continues the discussion of Neoliberalism, focusing on the internal contradictions inherent in its policy regime, now intensifying after the 2008-09 economic crisis. Rasmus explains the four policies of Neoliberalism—fiscal, monetary, external-trade, and industrial—and how they represent the post-1970s restructuring of the US and global capitalist economies. Earlier restructurings before world war I and following world war II are contracted to the 3rd, Neoliberal restructuring. Examples of contradictions within, and between, the four policy areas are explained: How fiscal war spending and tax cutting clashes with deficits/deb management; how monetary policy exacerbates trade and currency policies; how trade policies exacerbate industrial policy; how monetary policy contradicts both fiscal and trade policies. In the first half of the show, Rasmus provides updates and analyses on the tariff dispute between China-Trump, why US stock markets keep rising despite fundamentals, how Europe’s economy continues to stagnate, and new evidence how speculation is contributing to the instability in the US Repo market. (Next week: ‘Why Trump’s Attempt to Restore Neoliberalism 2.0 Is Failing’)

Dr. Rasmus continues the critique of Neoliberalism, explaining how it entered a crisis under Obama and how Trump is attempting to restore it in a new aggressive form. How material forces give rise to capitalist restructurings of which Neoliberalism is just the latest. And how material forces now developing beneath the surface are undermining the Neoliberal policy regime, with growing contradictions, that will give rise to a new restructuring in the 2020s.  Why Neoliberalism is not ‘Liberal’ at all but in many ways its opposite. What critics of Neoliberalism miss in their analyses. Neoliberalism as just the latest policy response to capitalist restructuring which has occurred before WW1 and after WW2. Why Neoliberalism will not survive the next crisis. (Check out Dr. Rasmus’s latest book ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism’, from his blog and website, jackrasmus.com and http://kyklosproductions.com)

 Dr. Rasmus discusses the main themes and predictions of his just released latest book, ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Policy From Reagan to Trump’: Neoliberalism as just the latest US capitalist restructuring to ensure US continued hegemony over domestic opposition (unions, social movements, etc.) and global capitalist competitors (China today; Japan-Europe before). Prior capitalist restructurings before WW1 and after WW2 are compared to the Neoliberal. Why Neoliberalism is not ‘Liberal’. Neoliberalism as historical practice vs. Neoliberalism as Idea is differentiated. What’s missing in prior critiques of Neoliberalism. The 4 basic policies of the Neoliberal policy regime are explained: Fiscal (tax, war-defense, social program spending), Monetary (low interest rates), Industrial (deregulation, privatization, anti-union, pension, jobs, wage compression), and External (trade, free trade, $US exchange rate, global money flows, twin deficit solution). Rasmus describes the major contradictions developing within Neoliberalism in recent years, why Neoliberalism hit a crisis under Obama, and why Trump policies represent a new virulent Neoliberalism 2.0. Why Trump’s restoration of Neoliberalism is doomed due to new technological changes, money forms, and rising political opposition (domestic and global) to it. The coming crisis of 2020s. Why Neoliberalism must remove Democracy as an obstacle if it is to further expand.  Trump as example of decline of Democracy in late Neoliberalism.  (For more on the book, check out Dr. Rasmus’s blog, jackrasmus.com, or website, http://kyklosproductions.com, where book copies may be ordered starting tomorrow, October 26, at discount).

A review of latest data on US economy, now showing retail sales and consumer joining the contractions in manufacturing, industrial production, business investment and construction. Why the Repo Market instability and problem is not going away, as bankers refuse to sell Treasuries back to the Fed (who’s trying to buy them in order to pump more cash needed into the market)—i.e. the Fed’s strategy to pump $400b more into Repos (QE Lite?) may not work. Then what? A third show topic is an assessment of the just announced ‘deal’ between the UAW and GM and why it may not be approved by the autoworkers themselves in their now scheduled contract ratification vote. How management ‘moves the money around’ in last minute negotiations. How it can manipulate the temp workers offer. How it will reduce its contract offer by not reopening plants in the US and increasing jobs in Mexico. Why lump sum payments actually reduce costs for the company and take home pay for the workers. The politics behind union contract ratification voting. The show concludes with Dr. Rasmus outlining his forthcoming book (next week), ‘The Scourge of Neoliberalism: US Economic Policy from Reagan to Trump’, Clarity Press, October 2019. Why ‘neoliberalism’ is not really liberalism at all, and not really about free markets but an idea created by conservative economists to obfuscate policies designed to restore hegemony for US capitalists at home and abroad.

Business and mainstream media today talking up a likely ‘mini’ deal on US-China trade. What’s behind it and what’s likely to be covered. China’s call for a ‘fair’ deal means a mini deal, minus any agreement on the nextgen tech issue. Trump’s ‘big deal’ will mean no tech issue resolution. So why is Trump now willing to take what’s on the table (same as last May 2019) and forego his ‘big deal’? Rasmus discusses the various economic reasons Trump may settle for less today, and continue attacking tech issue by other means. Is the ‘mini’ deal pending with China another ‘softball’ deal per So. Korea, Japan, USMCA, EU trade agts? Trump’s trade war a dismal failure, as US trade deficit hits record $55b in August. The second half of show revisits the Repo Market instability topic once again, provides updates on Fed’s $400 billion money injection, discusses whether it’s ‘QE’ again, and reviews just released BIS and FSB studies showing role of shadow banks in the Repo market may be part of the problem. The show closes with comments on 7m US auto loan defaults, and the chronic problem of a rising US dollar. (Next week: Neoliberalism as ‘Idea’ of academics and intellectuals vs. Neoliberalism in ‘Practice’)

This past week California proposed the creation of a public bank. What are the pros and cons of a public bank? Why a public bank would benefit Californians. Why public banks aren’t panacea solutions to a US chronic slow growth economy approaching recession once again. The limits of monetary policy, whether QE, MMT, or public banking. Why advocates of monetary solutions always over-estimate the role of money supply, interest rates, and bank lending. What really drives capitalist investment and economy. Why money is necessary but not sufficient. Public banking (and MMT) as QE turned on its head.  Rasmus introduces show with discussion of latest US purchasing managers index for services and manufacturing now slowing and contracting, and why job numbers are becoming weaker and will soon follow by year end or sooner, as US economy slowly joins the global economic slowdown. Why Trump may strike a deal with China—i.e. take the money and run and leave the tech issue for another day.  (Next week: Ukrainegate, Trump, and the Decline of American Democracy)

Dr. Rasmus dissects this past week’s spike in Repo (Repurchase Agreement) bank to bank lending market and what it means for growing financial instability in the US and globally. Candidate for financial market instability in US and worldwide are reviewed (junk bonds, BBB, leveraged loans, CDOs, etc., as well as India-Europe banks, China markets, Argentina, etc.). further slowdown of world real economy and trade underlying and interacting with growing financial market instability. Competitive devaluations via central bank interest rate and currency wars.  Trump’s narrow view of tariffs and Fed rate cuts. Why the Fed was divided on last rate cut this week. In the midst of all this, the US Repo market rates spike to 10%. Official short term explanations not acceptable. Longer term more fundamental causes: Fed pulling money out of bank reserves via bond operations and balance sheet sell off in order to finance US $1 trillion plus budget deficits. Banks now addicted to more excess reserves after QE, financial structure changes since 2008, etc. Fed will now restart ‘QE Lite’ via Repo market injections (4 times this week). More Negative Rates worldwide and balance sheet ballooning again inevitable now. Fed and central banks policies no longer as economic stabilization tools but as main conduit of capital market incomes subsidization tools. Fed and central banks now secretely planning even more radical innovations next year.

- Older Posts »