"The banks are ours!" Public money was used to bail out the banks, and now they are lending back to the public at interest, while governments ignore the social and environmental crises that confront society. It is time to demand real solutions that will work not only for the sake of the economy but for the lives and conditions of people on whom it depends.
Susan spoke at length on France Culture talking about the converging economic, social and environmental crises of globalization, and what alternatives exist to the current state of affairs. Susan's new book Their Crisis, Our Solutions has just been published in French (Leurs Crises, Nos Solutions) and Spanish (Sui Crisis, Nuestra Soluciones), and is due out in English in September.
The term crisis implies a short lived period of uncertainty - suggesting there is something temporary or anomalous about the current state of the global economy. On the contrary, our global economy, from the financial clouds (or bubbles) to the real roots - where men and women work, live and survive - is suffering from systemic flaws based on an ever expanding void between rich and poor.
This paper focuses on how the global economic crisis unfolded in Europe, where a toxic mix of financial liberalization, highly-leverage banks, a poorly-planned euro and Germany’s years of structural adjustment created a deeply unbalanced and highly indebted European economy, that was brought into sharp focus as Wall Street banks collapsed. The result was the reversal of Europe's economic integration and a state of permanent crisis that continues to this day.
Susan George, Fiona Dove, Yiorgos Vassalos, Dominique Plihon, Kenneth Haar
02 November 2011
In a podcast debate, four activist researchers debate why the European Union is wedlocked to economic policies that will only worsen the crisis and further undermine democratic control of public budget.
The international bank transfer system, SWIFT, is a form of contemporary digital colonialism and surveillance capitalism as it is run by US firms and provides data to US government agencies. Drives by governments and philanthropists to increase use of digital money will only strengthen it further.
The WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services (the "GATS") has very much underpinned expansion without regulation and supervision, so the financial corporations had the guarantee that their expansion would be underpinned. But financial services are not the same as other services – they need special supervisory structures.
Despite the strong and growing resistance in Greece and other European countries to the direction of EU policy responses to the crisis, the process for this new treaty has unfolded with disquieting speed: initiated in November, an agreement was already reached by end of January among the EU25. This comes at the expense of stifling democratic debate and, indeed, shortcutting the normal consultative procedures in the treaty process through legal manoeuvres.
Susan George appeared on the major French radio network France Inter to debate the financial crisis and regulation. Her most recent book "Their Crises, Our Solutions" has been published in French ("Leurs Crises, Nos Solutions"); the English version is due to be published in September.