The Great Transition
Follow
Find tag "Eurocrisis"
23.7K views | +5 today
The Great Transition
Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

As cracks in its economy widen, is Germany’s miracle about to fade?

As cracks in its economy widen, is Germany’s miracle about to fade? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Philip Oltermann: As the markets tumbled last week, Germany, hailed only months ago for its resilience in the European crisis, came under fresh scrutiny. What lies ahead for the European powerhouse?
Willy De Backer's insight:

How Merkel's austerity obsession will kill the German and European economy.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Worse than the 1930s: Europe’s recession is really a depression

Worse than the 1930s: Europe’s recession is really a depression | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Europe's self-inflicted wounds are making its recession worse than the worst of the 1930s.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Good analysis of the never-ending Eurozone crisis. A few nice quotes: "how is Europe making the Great Depression look like the good old days of growth? Easy: by ignoring everything we learned from it." and

"They have made a desert, and called it the eurozone."

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

France rebels against austerity as Europe's recovery collapses

France rebels against austerity as Europe's recovery collapses | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
France’s finance minister sends tremors through European capitals with a defiant warning that his country would no longer try to meet deficit targets
Willy De Backer's insight:

Is this the end of Europe's austerity fundamentalism? Don't count on it. European elites don't have a real alternative as they refuse to see that we have entered the post-growth era.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

European Union's Banking Union Can Work

European Union's Banking Union Can Work | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
It won't be easy, but the half-baked idea of a banking union can be turned into something useful if the European Central Bank follows certain steps.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Question is not if it would work. Question is if Europe's citizens really need it. Why not a citizens' union or a social union? Banking union shows where EU elites have their priorities

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

How the Case for Austerity Has Crumbled by Paul Krugman

How the Case for Austerity Has Crumbled by Paul Krugman | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

So is the austerian impulse all a matter of psychology? No, there’s also a fair bit of self-interest involved. As many observers have noted, the turn away from fiscal and monetary stimulus can be interpreted, if you like, as giving creditors priority over workers. Inflation and low interest rates are bad for creditors even if they promote job creation; slashing government deficits in the face of mass unemployment may deepen a depression, but it increases the certainty of bondholders that they’ll be repaid in full. I don’t think someone like Trichet was consciously, cynically serving class interests at the expense of overall welfare; but it certainly didn’t hurt that his sense of economic morality dovetailed so perfectly with the priorities of creditors.

 

Willy De Backer's insight:

Very interesting article by Paul Krugman in the NY Review of Books on why the austerity narrative seduced political elites in Europe and the US.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Spring forecast 2013 - The EU economy: degrowth

Spring forecast 2013 - The EU economy: degrowth | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
European Economic Forecast - spring 2013 - The EU economy: adjustment continues
Willy De Backer's insight:

Despite or maybe because of the austerity mania, EU leaders have achieved what all the sustainability fans can only dream about: degrowth. Time to move from the growth obsession to a new development model based on well-being beyond growth and radical redistribution.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

The new war in Europe? | openDemocracy

What is happening in Greece is typical of what I call a new war. Dramatic cuts in public spending weaken state capacity and further erode trust and legitimacy, providing a space for a combination of criminality and extremist politics. Such a combination is self-reproducing, since those involved profit from disorder. It is thus very difficult to end or to contain and a new type of predatory political economy that knows no formal borders comes into being.

Willy De Backer's insight:

Excellent analysis of the European Union's crisis of democracy by Mary Kaldor in Open Democracy

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Spain is experiencing a period of intense social crisis.

Spain is experiencing a period of intense social crisis. | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The eurozone crisis has badly affected the Spanish economy, leading to rising unemployment and large cuts in public spending. Vicente Navarro writes that the crisis has now progressed into a fronta...
Willy De Backer's insight:

very good analysis of the frontal attack on Spain (and Europe's) welfare state.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Don’t Sell Economic Stability to Buy Economic Growth

Don’t Sell Economic Stability to Buy Economic Growth | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

“Our problem is not lack of growth but too much of it,” Sedláček said. An economy that uses debt to grow must continue to do so by taking on more and more debt or, alternatively, face a slowdown that will lead to bankruptcy. It is like owning a car that explodes when it stops, argued Sedláček."

 

Brilliant presentation at the Fifth Annual European Investment Conference in Prague by Czech economist Tomáš Sedláček, who was an advisor to Vaclav Havel in the past.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

A Modest Proposal from Berlin: End Democracy in the European Union

A Modest Proposal from Berlin: End Democracy in the European Union | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The Fiscal Pact mandates that all national governments in the European Union should achieve a “structural deficit” of no more than 0.5 percent of gross domestic product. I shall not again demonstrate that this concept is nonsense and, even were it not, 0.5 percent would be absurd, implying continuously deflationary fiscal policy. If the Pact is foolish, combining it with a “fiscal czar” (Merkel’s term, not mine) is authoritarian madness. It would abandon the pretense of electoral democracy within the European Union."

 

Good critical analysis by John Weeks of recent developments in European governance structure. Pro-Europeans who welcome this as "more Europe" are either terribly naive or have a hidden agenda.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Barroso's "decisive deal" to do more of the same

Barroso's "decisive deal" to do more of the same | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso held his State of the Union 2012 Address in the European Parliament today.

 

His call for a "decisive deal for Europe" is nothing more than the usual litany of neoliberal (growth and competitiveness first) and old-school EU Integration platitudes (more economic and political union, European parties) with a few words added to placate those in Europe who want real "new thinking" and a really convincing new European project: a socially just and green new EU.

 

O yes and we need a new European public space now that anti-EU sentiment in lots of EU member states is running high. Where have we heard this before? Margot Wallström, please come back!

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Future money - James Robertson

Future money - James Robertson | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"... we have to make the money system work in ways that will motivate everyone to "enable and conserve", so that we and other living species survive. Understanding the need to design our money system to achieve that purpose amounts to a "Copernican revolution"

 

Good interview in Eurozine with one of the grandfather's of alternative economics, James Robertson, on the need for radical currency reform. His book "Future Money" should be mandatory bed-time reading for Mr Draghi.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Michael Hudson's new must-read book: The Bubble and Beyond

Michael Hudson's new must-read book: The Bubble and Beyond | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector has emerged to create “balance sheet wealth” not by new tangible investment and employment, but financially in the form of debt leveraging and rent-extraction. This rentier overhead is overpowering the economy’s ability to produce a large enough surplus to carry its debts. As in a radioactive decay process, we are passing through a short-lived and unstable phase of “casino capitalism,” which now threatens to settle into leaden austerity and debt deflation."

 

The new book by economist Michael Hudson should be mandatory reading for anyone seriously dealing with the global and European crisis.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

German model is ruinous for Germany, and deadly for Europe

German model is ruinous for Germany, and deadly for Europe | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"France may look like the sick of man of Europe, but Germany’s woes run deeper, rooted in mercantilist dogma, the glorification of saving for its own sake, and the corrosive psychology of ageing."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Brilliant analysis in The Telegraph - 'The country has mistaken a confluence of exceptional events for permanent ascendancy. It cannot continue to live off exports of capital goods to China and the BRICS as they hit the buffers, or by stealing a march on southern Europe through wage compression, a zero-sum game.'

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Secular stagnation: Facts, causes, and cures

"Six years after the Crisis and the recovery is still anaemic despite years of zero interest rates. Is ‘secular stagnation’ to blame? This column introduces an eBook that gathers the views of leading economists including Summers, Krugman, Gordon, Blanchard, Koo, Eichengreen, Caballero, Glaeser, and a dozen others. It is too early to tell whether secular stagnation is really secular, but if it is, current policy tools will be obsolete. Policymakers should start thinking about potential solutions."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Very interesting piece in Vox.eu about the new economic reality: slow growth. Fascinating to see how these economists keep ducking the real tough question: is it possible that we have entered the post-growth era?

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Our manifesto for Europe

Our manifesto for Europe | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"European Union institutions no longer work. A radical financial and democratic settlement is needed

Willy De Backer's insight:

This new "manifesto for Europe" written by 15 French intellectuals (Thomas Piketty, Daniel Cohen, Guillaume Duval, Jean Quatremer and others) is a must-read for all real Europeans, who believe Europe needs a new start.

more...
Eli Levine's curator insight, May 3, 2014 12:28 PM

Europe could do well by examining how the US handles its federal system.  There are some things that need to be standard throughout and some things that can be left up to the states to decide.  Ultimately it needs to be a collaborative approach from on high down below ( a kind of magnanimous humbling of thinking and feeling) in order to achieve the best possible results for all of Europe.

 

Yet the conservatives and ideologues are going to protest anything that extends consciousness beyond their petty national  or ethnic boundaries.  A shame, because humanity has so much more to offer itself than just a huddled mass of rival tribes sharing in common problems and conditions with no common method for resolving them on a case by case basis.

 

Think about it.

Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Euro-zone economy barely expands in the third quarter

Euro-zone economy barely expands in the third quarter | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The rebound after a long slump lost its momentum in the third quarter, compounding fears that Europe could get mired in a "lost decade" of stagnation, joblessness and political discontent.
Willy De Backer's insight:

For all the 'don't worry be happy' singing of the Commission, ECB and others, the reality is this: Europe's elites just have NO clue...

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

The Lessons Of The North Atlantic Crisis For Economic Theory And Policy

The Lessons Of The North Atlantic Crisis For Economic Theory And Policy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The world has seen a hundred financial crises in the past three decades. In this column, Nobelist Joe Stiglitz argues that we could have done much more to prevent this crisis and to mitigate its effects. Looking ahead, we can do much more to prevent the next one. This is a chance to revolutionise flawed economic models, and perhaps exit from an interminable cycle of crises."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Excellent analysis by Joe Stiglitz of some of the lessons of the crisis but his own analytical model is still flawed, leaving out the biophysical realities (limits to growth, resource scarcity) which underpin our global economy. Only be recognising this new reality will it be possible to move to the radical transformation of economic models for the post-growth society.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Degrowth in Slovenia

Degrowth in Slovenia | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
We need a no-growth development model as an alternative to an austerity model which will do nothing except bring ordinary people hardship and misery – offering them no hope and no way of coping with their problems.
Willy De Backer's insight:

Very inspiring article by Feasta's Brian Davey on the need to go beyond the sterile austerity versus new Keynesianism solutions to the growth and debt crisis of the EU.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

State Capture and the Democratic Movement

State Capture and the Democratic Movement | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"What is urgently needed are initiatives to expose the capture of states by the financial sector, but also—much more difficult—analysis of how societies in crisis allow stereotypes of the ‘other’ to be popularised, opening the way to violence and ultimately, war."

Willy De Backer's insight:

Excellent article on how the capture of the state by the financial elites is leading to nationalist-populist policies to undermine the social welfare state and organised labour.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Democracy in a state of emergency: Greece, the EU and the Eurozone debt crisis

Democracy in a state of emergency: Greece, the EU and the Eurozone debt crisis | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Good article in Open Democracy on how this European Union is using the sovereign debt crisis as an excuse to shed of the last illusions of it being a democratic and social project for its citizens.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Europe's creditor protection dogma and a fiscal black hole

Europe's creditor protection dogma and a fiscal black hole | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"One of the most striking and least well recognised facts about the crisis is that those who have ultimately benefited from public EU bailout funds are not the governments or citizens of periphery countries but international bondholders. The degree of financial concentration in the world today is unprecedented; bondholders belong to the richest five per cent of people in the world. Yet public bailout money has been used first and foremost to ensure that bondholders are paid in full or with minimal losses. This amounts to a fiscal transfer from taxpayers to private creditors. The cost for the rest of society is enormous: austerity measures in distressed countries have caused unemployment to surge and decades of welfare achievements to be scrapped."

 

The LSE blog has this good analysis of how rich creditors profit from the bail-outs while taxpayers are paying the bill.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Europe’s Trial by Crisis

Europe’s Trial by Crisis | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"This crisis offers a tremendous opportunity for Europe. It has defined the agenda for years to come: banking union, fiscal union, and political union. What remains missing is an economic-growth strategy for the crisis countries; but, given mounting unrest in southern Europe, such a strategy is inevitable. Europeans have reason to be optimistic if they recognize the opportunity that their crisis has created – and act boldly and decisively to seize it."

 

This opinion piece by Joschka Fischer in Project Syndicate clearly demonstrates how much the former Green rebel has become part of the European elites. No word about the detrimental social impacts of the EU's neo-liberal ideology, no word about the sustainability crisis which caused global economic disruption in the first place.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

Monti, Hollande stress need for economic growth

Monti, Hollande stress need for economic growth | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Italian premier Mario Monti and French leader Francois Hollande on Tuesday said Europe must urgently restore economic growth and create jobs as part of a wider plan to safeguard the 17-country euro currency union.

 

Politically elected or technocrat, left or right - Europe's elites remain stuck in old and failed ideologies (growth as the miracle cure) instead of preparing for the Prosperous Way Down.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Willy De Backer
Scoop.it!

In Spain, financial crisis feeds expansion of a parallel, euro-free economy

In Spain, financial crisis feeds expansion of a parallel, euro-free economy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
At a time when the future of the currency is in doubt and millions are unemployed or underemployed, an alternative, euro-free economy is springing up in Spain and elsewhere.

 

The Washington Post has this interesting article on how people in the Eurocrisis countries are finding ways to defeat the austerity attacks of their governments.

more...
No comment yet.