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Policy news & blueprints for the transition to a new Sustainable and Social Economy
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The Worst and the Best of Austerity

The Worst and the Best of Austerity | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

At Project Syndicate, Jean Pisani-Ferry, director of Bruegel, the international economics think tank, has some reservations over current indiscriminate austerity policies in Europe.

 

The Achilles heal of all these traditional economists reading of the current debt crisis is that they all still believe this crisis is temporary and we will return to growth in the not too distant future. What if this crisis is more fundamental and we have really entered the post-growth society in Western economies?

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New fiscal compact does not solve European Union’s existential crisis

New fiscal compact does not solve European Union’s existential crisis | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Is this it? Have the Euro and the European Union been saved? In all the media noise about the splendid isolation of Britain, one might forget that the EU is facing not one but several crises and that the “fiscal compact “summit might well have postponed or even killed the more essential debate on its political future. This could have been the crisis which the EU should never have wasted.
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David Cameron's 'no' is bad for Britain and for Europe

David Cameron's 'no' is bad for Britain and for Europe | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Timothy Garton Ash: The EU will never be the same again.

 

Although I agree that the 'no' is bad for Britain and Europe, I disagree that the EU will never be the same again. It is more the same than ever before. It is still hooked on its belief in socially unjust austerity to save the myth of the "free market" and still believes "economic growth" will get us out of the sovereign debt mess.

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Durban and Brussels: The Artists in the Circus Dome: clueless

Durban and Brussels: The Artists in the Circus Dome: clueless | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Greenhouse gas emissions would be cut from 2020 if China decides to follow EU roadmap...

 

The talking travelling circus of climate artists will probably decide to keep travelling and talking. Makes no difference whatsoever to the climate crisis. How much this resembles what is happening in Brussels these days. Leaders have lost the plot and are left clueless.

 

Note: "Die Artisten in der Zirkuskuppel: Ratlos" is a wonderful German movie from 1968 by Alexander Kluge.

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The eurozone crisis: a terrifying race to become a diminished world power

The eurozone crisis: a terrifying race to become a diminished world power | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Timothy Garton Ash: To see off the bond markets, the eurozone has to create a credible sovereign – but that may divide the larger EU...

 

Great article by one of the best commentators on EU policies. I like his comparison with Wagner's Nibelungen Ring but he forgets to mention the last act: Die Götterdämmerung (the demise of the gods).

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What Can Save the Euro?

What Can Save the Euro? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
It is increasingly evident that Europe’s political leaders, for all their commitment to the euro’s survival, do not have a good grasp of what is required to make the single currency work.

 

Joseph E. Stiglitz expresses his doubts about European leaders' effectiveness in finding a solution to the Eurocrisis

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Is the European Meltdown a Euro Crisis or a Resource Crunch?

Is the European Meltdown a Euro Crisis or a Resource Crunch? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Using Ecological Footprint metrics and monetizing the cost of Ecological Deficits, he provides evidence that the Euro crisis is a symptom of deepening resource constraints. Therefore, turning around resource trends becomes a necessary condition for Europe's economy to recover. While the biocapacity deficit cost Greece less than 10% of their GDP in the 1990s, in 2009 it shot up to nearly 40% of its GDP."

 

Global Footprint Network's Mathis Wackernagel makes the correct link between global resource constraints and Europe's debt crisis. What Europe really needs is not more of the same (economic governance) but a complete redefinition of its economic and social model.

 

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Phoenix Europe: How the EU Can Emerge from the Ashes

Phoenix Europe: How the EU Can Emerge from the Ashes | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The old European Union didn't work, that much has been made clear by the ongoing debt crisis. But many in Europe think there is now a clear path to a new, more integrated -- and smaller -- bloc. What must happen first?

 

Food for thought in this International Spiegel article.

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Eurozone debt web: Who owes what to whom?

Eurozone debt web: Who owes what to whom? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The BBC News web site has this very informative graph showing the scale of foreign debt owed between key eurozone countries and the main world economies.

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The Eurozone Crisis and the Silence of Social Democracy

The Eurozone Crisis and the Silence of Social Democracy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

In Social Europe Journal Jon Bloomfield undertakes a good diagnosis of the absence of a European Left alternative to the current eurocrisis but unfortunately then prescribes the old social-democrat remedies.

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Joschka Fischer: Forget this EU!

In Die Zeit former German Green and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer makes the case for a smaller Europe led by the Member States and with a strong real Euro-Parliament consisting of national parliamentarians.


His analysis has interesting institutional points such as the demise of the European Commission but lacks any insight into the ecological and energy roots of the current Europe crisis. For someone who was once the leading figure of the Green parties in Europe this is inexcusable. Have the Greens become too much part of the capitalist-growth establishment?

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Euro-Krise: Rettet die Würde der Demokratie - Habermas

Euro-Krise: Rettet die Würde der Demokratie - Habermas | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

German philosopher Jürgen Habermas uses  Papandreou's referendum shock to explain the clash between democracy and financial market stability and shows how our political "leaders" are the marionettes of the financial powers.


His conclusion makes the connection with the future of the European Union:


"Die bailouts, die sich überschlagen, haben bestenfalls aufschiebende Wirkung. Eine überzeugende Lösung der Finanzkrise ist mit Mitteln der Fiskalpolitik allein gar nicht zu haben; überzeugen könnte die europäische Politik nur mit dem glaubhaften institutionellen Entwurf zu einer abgestuften Integration."

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EU economy: Black hole or green growth

Green growth is not something that might be nice once the current approach to the financial crisis succeeds. It is the sound alternative to the dismal consequences of this approach’s failure.

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Mario and the Confidence Fairy

Mario and the Confidence Fairy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"I guess in Europe today “technocratic” is a synonym for “delusional”.

"Europe’s delusional technocrats apparently still believe that one more turn of the austerity screw will do the trick."

 

As always, Krugman is provocative but sooo correct!

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La crise de la dette publique et ses solutions

La crise de la dette publique et ses solutions | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

On his Alternatives Economiques blog, French economy professor Jean Gadrey has an excellent overview of the real causes behind the current public debt crisis and provides ideas for short- and mid-term solutions.

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New EU deal faces multiple referendum threat

New EU deal faces multiple referendum threat | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
Within hours of arriving at a fragile treaty deal for the eurozone and nine other EU states, the agreement delivering deeper integration is already confronting the spectre of multiple referendums and a host of legal barriers.
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Europe’s Transition From Social Democracy to Oligarchy

Europe’s Transition From Social Democracy to Oligarchy | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

Another impressive analysis of the real motives behind the eurocrisis from economist Michael Hudson. First published in Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

 

"So something has to give. Will it be the past few centuries of liberal free-market economic philosophy, relinquishing planning the economic surplus to bankers? Or will society re-assert classical economic philosophy and Progressive Era principles, and re-assert social shaping of financial markets to promote long-term growth with minimum costs of living and doing business?

At least in the most badly indebted countries, European voters are waking up to an oligarchic coup in which taxation and government budgetary planning and control is passing into the hands of executives nominated by the international bankers’ cartel. This result is the opposite of what the past few centuries of free market economics has been all about."

 

More extracts of and comments on this brilliant piece later on my blog http://3eintelligence.wordpress.com

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Who rules Europe? Merkozy or financial markets?

Who rules Europe? Merkozy or financial markets? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

(Reuters) - Standard & Poor's has warned it may carry out an unprecedented mass downgrade of euro zone countries if EU leaders fail to deliver a convincing agreement on how to solve the region's debt crisis in a summit on Friday.

 

Another example of how our political leaders are being hijacked by the powers of the financial markets. Isn't it time someone stopped this new form of financial terrorism? When will our Merkozy's declare war on this terrorism?

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Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks $13 Billion

Secret Fed Loans Gave Banks $13 Billion | The Great Transition | Scoop.it
The Federal Reserve and the big banks fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing.

 

There is no money for the energy revolution, no more money for renewable energy subsidies and green cars. You can see why: the US FED lent nearly 8 trillion dollars to the banks when they needed to be bailed out - oh and yes, these banks made over 13 billion dollars thanks to these loans. Need any more explanation?

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Oil price could strangle economic recovery hopes: IEA

(Reuters) - The high oil price could strangle efforts to get the global economy back on its feet and may also hamper Asia's ability to help the West exit its crisis, the International Energy Agency's chief economist said on Thursday.

 

Fatih Birol has more insight into Europe's debt crisis and its stalling economy than these so-called European leaders who are still believing Santa Claus will bring back economic growth.

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Boring, Cruel Euro Romantics

Boring, Cruel Euro Romantics | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

In the International Herald Tribune, economist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman accuses the European technocrat leaders of being "boring cruel romantics" driven "by dreams about the way things should be rather than by a cool assessment of the way things really are".

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Who is taking over Europe? Technocrats or Goldman Sachs?

Who is taking over Europe? Technocrats or Goldman Sachs? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

French online magazine Mediapart.fr has an intriguing analysis of the new "technocrats" who will have to save the Euro and the European Union. All three, Lucas Papademos, Mario Monti and Mario Draghi (ECB) have worked or are connected to Goldman Sachs, the bank which helped cook the books of Greece to enter the eurozone.

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Can Europe pull back from the brink?

Can Europe pull back from the brink? | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

The Guardian has this brilliant and insightful exchange of ideas between two UK top journalists (Paul Mason and Gillian Tett) on the eurocrisis. What both recognise is that this crisis is only the tip of the iceberg of a more fundamental crisis of our political institutions and leadership.

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Greece and Italy Seek a Solution From Technocrats

Greece and Italy Seek a Solution From Technocrats | The Great Transition | Scoop.it

"Under the white-hot pressure of the bond markets and the glare of European leaders, both Greece and Italy snapped into action on Thursday, looking to technocratic leaders to pull them back from the brink of chaos.." (NY Times)


The technocrat chimera? These technocrats have been the engineers of neoliberal policymaking in the last 20 years. Their "solutions" will be "more of the same" remaining within the the broken old economic paradigm. What Europe really needs are not technocrats but leaders with a new vision.



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G20: New World, Old Ideas or better, no Ideas left

"We firmly believe that employment and social inclusion must be at the heart of our actions and policies to restore growth and confidence. We therefore decide to set up a G20 task force which will work as a priority on youth employment."


Billions for the banks, debts for governments, and a task force to tackle unemployment. Where is Charles Dickens when we need him?

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