In early November, without warning, the Indian government declared the two largest denomination bills invalid, abolishing over 80 percent of circulating cash by value. Amidst all the commotion and outrage this caused, nobody seems to have taken note of the decisive role that Washington played in this. That is surprising, as Washington’s role has been disguised only very superficially.
On Monday the World Bank made it official that Paul Romer will be the new chief economist. This nomination can be seen as a big step back toward the infamous Washington Consensus, which World Bank and IMF seemed to have left behind. This is true, even though Paul Romer has learned quite well to hide the market fundamentalist and anti-democratic nature of his pet idea – charter cities – behind a veil of compassionate wording.
The Research Network Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policies (FMM) celebrates their 20th Anniversary Conference this year, and this year’s conference is from Oct 20-22 in Berlin. The title is: “Towards Pluralism in Macroeconomics?” Arbeitskreis Politische Ökonomie, in cooperation with the German chapter of the World Economics Association, want to celebrate this by proposing a panel about “Rethinking Europe”, concentrating on the dimension of macroeconomic policies and interdisciplinary approaches.
By John Komlos.* The media is inundated with pundits analyzing the unexpected rise of demagoguery. I would like to add my own: the establishment’s utter loss of credibility. It has been fooling most of the people for more than a generation and Abraham Lincoln’s warning, “you cannot fool all of the people all of the time” has now come back to haunt them with a vengeance.**
For years, former treasury secretary and Harvard-professor Larry Summers has been the most prominent voice in favor of getting rid of cash. For years, he has ignored all ethics rules of professional organizations, which demand of professional academics to disclose any information about potential conflicts of interest whenever they publish their findings or take a stand in public discussion. Now, finally he came clean.
A central bank governor in Athens conspires with the President of the Republic to sabotage the negotiation strategy of his government to weaken it in its negotiations with the European Central Bank. After the government has capitulated, this governor, who is a close friend of the new finance minister and boss of the finance ministers wife, and the President of the Republic travel together to the ECB to collect their praise and rewards. This is not an invention, this is now documented.
At a symposium of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament on “The ECB – Europe’s unelected government”, I gave a presentation on the nature and motives of central banks in general and the European Central Bank in particular, characterizing it as an integral part of the banking community. Harald Schumann presented a lot of juicy detail about highly questionable machinations of the ECB during the bank-“rescues” in Greece and Cyprus. The text of my intervention is below.