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Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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A Centerless Euro Cannot Hold

A Centerless Euro Cannot Hold | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Europe may never be an optimum currency area by any standard. But, without further profound political and economic integration – which may end up excluding some current eurozone members – the euro may not make it even to the end of this decade.

 

Good analysis by economics professor Kenneth Rogoff of the eurocrisis but lacking ideas on what kind of political and economic union will be needed to win back political legitimacy. An Austerity Union with more political and economic integration will be a failed project.

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A proposal for Greek financing: Self-help with ‘reconstruction bonds’

"Even with the latest bailout and debt restructuring, Greek debt is still projected to be 120% of GDP by 2020. With no access to foreign markets, Greece will have to fund any future deficits by calling on more funds from foreign governments or international institutions. This column suggests a novel solution: force ordinary Greeks to save some of their earnings by purchasing government bonds." (Source: VoxEU.org).

 

Very interesting article about solutions to Greek crisis.

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Forget the ‘golden age’ of capitalism: there’s no return, and our future can be better

"To propose any concrete alternative economic model at this juncture would smack of hubris. Right now no-one has the answers and that is precisely what characterizes a crisis. But one thing is certain: by embracing the underconsumptionist critique and the Keynesian solutions of those such as Skidelsky, Baran and Krugman, we will not only be failing to think outside the box, we will be reaching for a branch that simply isn’t there anymore."

 

This absolutely must-read analysis in Open Democracy explains why neither Keynes nor neo-liberal austerity will lead us to the end of the tunnel.

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Mikel Arbeloa's comment, March 6, 2012 4:50 PM
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Europe’s Austerity Mirage

European governments are following the same path Asian countries pursued in the late 1990s — austerity and competitiveness — but they are less likely to succeed.

 

Good article on the eurozone debt crisis by French economist Jean-Paul Fitoussi in the NY Times.

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James Rickards: Paper, Gold or Chaos?

James Rickards: Paper, Gold or Chaos? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
History is replete with the carcasses of failed currencies destroyed through misguided intentional debasement by governments looking for an easy escape from piling up too much debt.

 

Listen to this Chris Martenson blog podcast interview with James Rickards on how some governments (including the US) have started to get out of the debt crisis by cheapening their currencies. End result: currency collapse.

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Stronger Europe or democratic sovereignty? Yes please

Great analysis in Open Democracy about the false choice between EU federalism and intergovernmentalism and the need for genuine European politics.

 

"The incumbent task for citizens is thus clear: to confront the political question directly. The era of ‘output legitimacy’ is over. How boldly Europe embraces new forms of input legitimacy - in which we will have to supply the ideas and the future of Europe ourselves, democratically as citizens - will determine whether and how we overcome the current sovereign debt crisis, as well as our deeper democratic malaise."

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How Democracy Can Save Europe

How Democracy Can Save Europe | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"... the solution must be a new Constitutional Convention, whose members are invested with the authority to begin again from the foundations and produce a lapidary statement of basic institutions and rights—rather than the ponderous EU treaties Europeans tend to vote down when given the chance in national referendums."

 

Absolute must-read article by Timothy Snyder in The New York Review of Books on the need for Europe to re-invent EU democracy if it is to prevent further meltdown of the European project.

 

For summary and further comments, read my blog coverage of this story http://3eintelligence.wordpress.com/2012/02/11/how-democracy-can-save-europe/

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How the Banks Broke the Social Compact, Promoting their Own Special Interests

In The Market Oracle, economist Michael Hudson provides a brilliant analysis of the perverse role of banking in our current casino capitalism.

 

This is a must-read for anyone concerned about Europe's debt crisis.

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WWF's alarm bell: economic bail-out plans hurt sustainability transition

WWF's alarm bell: economic bail-out plans hurt sustainability transition | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

WWF International has written letters to the European Commission and several international institutions warning that current "solutions" to the economic and financial crisis are detrimental to the long-term sustainability agenda for the planet.

 

"the crisis, in addition to being grounded in mismanagement of national finances, is a reflection of a deficient economic development model built on overconsumption and a steadily increasing ecological deficit and natural resource overexploitation".

 

Great press release - must-read for anyone with a passion for the Great Transition.

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SPIEGEL Interview: 'It Is a Mistake To Pursue a United States of Europe' -

SPIEGEL Interview: 'It Is a Mistake To Pursue a United States of Europe' - | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"In an interview conducted as he heads into retirement, German Constitutional Court Judge Udo Di Fabio explains why he believes the high court's recent decisions on the European Union will not necessarily hinder further European integration..."

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Blanchard’s four hard truths on 2011 are a joke

Blanchard’s four hard truths on 2011 are a joke | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

This analysis by IMF  chief economist Olivier Blanchard is symptomatic of the blindness of traditional economists to the real causes of our current Global Crisis.

 

Their denial of the new reality of "limits to growth" is becoming pathetic were it not that these guys are advising our political leaders on what to do to exit the crisis. What friends like this, who needs enemies?

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Why Oil Prices Are Killing the Economy

Why Oil Prices Are Killing the Economy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

On the ChrisMartenson blog, Gregor Macdonald writes another convincing piece on the direct causal relationship between high oil prices and economic depression in the West.

 

Why are none of our European leaders and their economic advisers getting it? Because it contradicts their fundamentalist belief in eternal economic growth. Better to remain in denial and hope that a miracle will save the Euro.

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Life after the end of economic growth

Life after the end of economic growth | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
A continually rising GDP is not necessarily possible – or even desirable. So why do policymakers obsess over it?

 

Good piece in the Guardian by Richard Heinberg

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IMF Report Offers Bleak Outlook for Greece

An International Monetary Fund staff report warned that Greece's loan program faces exceptionally high risks and said Athens may need further debt restructuring and additional financing that Europe should cover.

 

This IMF report does not square with all the reassuring comments from EU leaders Van Rompuy and Barroso that Europe has turned the page and there is light at the end of the tunnel. Seems to me there might still be a lot of pain and sacrifice before we reach the end of this tunnel.

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IMF economist: equality is the best remedy against crisis

IMF economist: equality is the best remedy against crisis | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Unless countries reduce income disparities the next financial collapse is inevitable, argues economist Michael Kumhof. Perhaps a surprising conclusion from a senior researcher at the IMF. In interview he argues that equality is the best recipe against crisis."

 

Great interview in Eurozine with IMF economist Michael Kumhof.

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Mumbo Jumble: The underwhelming response of the American economics profession to the crisis

Mumbo Jumble: The underwhelming response of the American economics profession to the crisis | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"In this extract from his forthcoming book, Never Let a Dire Crisis Go to Waste (Verso), the philosopher and historian of economics Philip Mirowski seeks to explain how the American economics profession has successfully avoided culpability for the economic crisis."

 

Another must-read contribution in Open Democracy's great series Uneconomics.

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Greece should reject the Troika and default on its own terms

Greece should reject the Troika and default on its own terms | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
It's national debt is unpayable - why tear apart the country in a futile attempt to repay?

 

Excellent alternative analysis of the Eurozone crisis by the New Economics Foundation.

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Europe’s Failed Course on the Economy

Europe’s Failed Course on the Economy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Austerity measures clearly are not working, so why are leaders still forcing it on Greece and others?

 

Very good opinion piece on Europe's myopic austerity policies in the NY Times. "Why are Europe’s leaders so determined to deny reality?"

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Rx for Greece: A dose of Thanatos

Rx for Greece: A dose of Thanatos | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Good article by Dan Bednarz on the links between our energy descent, limits to economic growth and Greece's financial crisis and its impact on the country's health system.

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Open-market sustainability: the alternative to failing austerity policies

Open-market sustainability: the alternative to failing austerity policies | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"America has a pathway for leading a transition to global sustainability marked by widespread economic success and a reduction in strategic threats and friction. Pent-up demand and stranded capital can underwrite the economic engine of open-market sustainability, shifting from sprawl to smart growth, from industrial to regenerative agriculture, and from taxing income to taxing waste." (Source: Solutions Journal).

 

Brilliant analysis in Solutions Magazine by Patrick Doherty, director of the Smart Strategy Initiative at New America Foundation.An excellent effort to define a realistic policy blueprint beyond our unsustainable and unjust austerity policies.

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Contre le discours dominant sur la dette publique

Contre le discours dominant sur la dette publique | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Deux narrations ... contradictoires de l'histoire de la dette publique déterminent deux réponses antagoniques. Selon l'histoire officielle, une cure sévère d'amaigrissement budgétaire s'impose, sans débat autre que sur les modalités, pour que la France restaure ses finances publiques et que ses entreprises redeviennent compétitives. Dans la narration alternative, à l'inverse, la clé de la situation réside dans une réforme fiscale redistributive, couplée à une cure amaigrissante et une mise sous tutelle... du secteur financier.

 

In Le Monde, five French academics provide one of the best analyses of the current European debt crisis.

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An unhappy anniversary for the euro

An unhappy anniversary for the euro | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
John Grahl: If the monetary union does survive, in the form now planned by EU leaders, the cure could turn out to be worse than the disease...

 

Good analysis of the perverse policies to save the Euro and create a "fiscal union" which is in reality indeed a "surveillance union".

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Wolfgang Streeck: "Das Dopingregime des Pump-Kapitalismus ist lebensgefährlich"

In a great interview for Die Zeit, German influential sociologist Wolfgang Streeck warns that current financial capitalism is a threat to our democracy, how private Keynesianism led to the 2008 crisis and how technocrats trained by Goldman Sachs have taken control.

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The Infinite-Planet Approach Won’t Solve the European Debt Crisis

The Infinite-Planet Approach Won’t Solve the European Debt Crisis | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"The movement toward fiscal union and budget austerity thus represents the victory of growth-for-the-sake-of-growth over democracy-for-the-sake-of-democracy.

On an infinite planet, the two need not be at odds, and in fact can be seen to support each other. They certainly seemed to track together through much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as market economies expanded into an underdeveloped world. But in a world built out to the limits of what ecosystems can handle, it becomes increasingly obvious that there’s a tradeoff."

 

Very good analysis on why the neo-liberal, pro-growth quick fixes to the Eurocrisis will fail.

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Danish environment and energy priorities for EU Presidency

Council of the EU webcast on the presentation by two Danish ministers of their priorities for climate, energy and environment.

 

Positive: minister Auken mentions the interconnectedness between the financial crisis and the sustainability crisis. Negative: the usual fairytale answers of "green growth" and "decoupling". Worth viewing anyway.

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