“None of this is to defend Putin’s brutality. When 55 Ukrainian children are made refugees every minute and pregnant women in hospital are shelled mid-labour, there is nothing to defend. But to frame our condemnations as a binary clash of rival value systems is to absolve ourselves of our own alleged war crimes, committed as recently as this century in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is to pretend ‘our’ wars are just and only theirs are evil, to make out that Afghan boys seeking asylum from the Taliban are inevitably liars and cheats while Ukrainian kids fleeing Russian bombs are genuine refugees. It is a giant and morally repugnant lie and yet elements of it already taint our front pages and rolling-news coverage.” Aditya Chakrabortty explains why, in the search for solutions, Western values should be regarded as a problem.
“This is one of the main contradictions of our time. The confrontation between democracies and autocracies is overplayed, forgetting that Western countries share with Russia and China an unbridled hyper-capitalist ideology and a legal, fiscal and political system that is increasingly favourable to large fortunes. In Europe and the United States, everything is done to distinguish useful and deserving Western entrepreneurs from harmful and parasitic Russian, Chinese, Indian or African oligarchs. But the truth is that they have much in common.” Thomas Piketty explains why effective sanctions against Russian oligarchs would require the establishment of a truly global financial registry.
“Whether as taxpayers or consumers, pretty much everyone in Britain is now human feedstock for Big Capital. This may not be how you see yourself. After all, you’re a customer and in our dynamic, choice-stuffed markets the customer is king. Except that the propaganda doesn’t match reality.” Aditya Chakrabortty asks what Britain is actually for.
“Der Westen, der so stolz auf seine Werte ist, verschließt seine Grenzen für verängstige Menschen auf der Suche nach einem besseren Leben. Aber er öffnet sie für schmutziges Geld auf der Suche nach einer besseren Anlage.” Jakob Augstein identifiziert nicht die Flüchtlinge als unser Problem—sondern die Steuerflüchtlinge.
Forget Panama: it’s easier to hide your money in the US than almost anywhere.
“Our options, he argues, can be divided into three general categories: austerity, stimulus and doing nothing. He, like an increasing number of mainstream economists, believes we can now scratch austerity off the list.” Adam Davidson talks to Adam Posen, until recently a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, about ways to fix the UK’s economy.
“There’s been a lot of academic research suggesting that men think they know what they’re doing, even when they really don’t know what they’re doing.” Tim Adams reports on why a sufficiently high percentage of women in decision-making positions might have prevented the 2008 financial crash.
“Evidence indicates that when it comes to Wall Street, the justice system not only sucks at punishing financial criminals, it has actually evolved into a highly effective mechanism for protecting financial criminals.” Financial crisis ongoing, Matt Taibbi’s article should be of interest to anyone.
“It is the intersection of several underlying trends that have brought us to this point, not a breakdown in any specific part of the financial sector.” Michael Flynn looks at the underlying reasons for the current Wall Street crisis.