[OPE] Greg Palast on the recession

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Tue Sep 22 2009 - 17:32:11 EDT

The technical policy conflict between the Obama and EU plans reflects a deep
difference in the answer to a crucial question: Whose recession is it,
anyway? To Obama and Bernanke, this is a bankers' recession and so, as
"stresses in financial markets have abated significantly," to use the words
of the White House epistle, then Happy Days Are Here Again. But, if this
recession is about workers the world over losing their jobs and life
savings, the EU view, then it's still Buddy, Can You Spare a Dime.

If Bernanke and Obama were truly concerned about preserving jobs, they would
have required banks loaded with taxpayer bail-out loot to lend these funds
to consumers and business. China did so, ordering its banks to increase
credit. And boy, did they, expanding credit by an eye-popping 30%, rocketing
China's economy out of recession and into double-digit growth. But the Obama
Administration has gone the opposite way. The White House letter to the G-20
calls for slowly increasing bank reserves, and that can only cause a tight
credit market to tighten further.

It's not that the White House completely ignores job losses. The US letter
suggests, "The G-20 should commit to ...income support for the unemployed."
You can imagine the Europeans, who already have generous unemployment
benefits-most without time limits-turning purple over that one. America's
stingy unemployment compensation extension under the Stimulus Plan is
already beginning to expire with no live proposal to continue aid for the
jobless victims of this recession. The Europeans are so cute when they're
angry, when they pound their little fists. Obama assumes he can ignore them.

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Received on Tue Sep 22 17:36:22 2009

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