Crisis económica!!!

Sobre la crisis económica, algunos artículos de importantes académicos.

Published on Thursday, April 2, 2009 by Open Democracy

Too Big to Save: The End of Financial Capitalism

The financial logic of neo-liberal capitalism has devoured the world and exhausted itself in the process. A new model beyond «financialization» is needed, says Saskia Sassen.

by Saskia Sassen

The misnamed «Group of Twenty» (G20) meets in London on 2 April 2009 to discuss how to save the global financial system. It is too late. The evidence is in: we don’t have the resources to save this system – even if we wanted to. It has become too big to save: the value of global financial assets is several times the size of global gross national product (GDP). The real challenge is not to save this system but to definancialize our economies, as a prelude to move beyond the current model of capitalism. Why should the value of financial assets stay at almost four times the overall GDP of the European Union, and even more of the United States. What do everyday citizens – or the planet – gain from such excess?

The question answers itself. To explore further the inner workings of the financial system that has brought the world to this predicament is also to glimpse a future beyond financialization. The task the G20 should actually address is not to save this financial system but to begin to definancialize the major economies to a significant degree, so that the world can begin to move towards the creation of a «real» economy that delivers security, stability, and sustainability. There is much work to do.

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There is no zombie free lunch

Krzysztof Rybinski

The financial plans of Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke will drain life and energy from the rest of the planet, says Krzysztof Rybinski.

(This article was first published on 18 March 2009)

It is a story that could make the Return of the Living Dead 6. A group of good people huddle on a roof, with a limited supply of raw meat. A crowd of zombies surrounds the house: hungry, mad, aggressive. Fear spreads and bodies collapse; the odour is terrible. The zombies smell blood and flesh on the roof; they scream and start climbing the walls.

The moment you stop feeding zombies they will come after you and we all turn into the living dead. So you keep feeding them in the hope that by the time the next night comes around, a new helicopter will arrive that – just in time – can drop new batches of zombie-food. It’s the only way to survive. Attacking these creatures is very dangerous: when one zombie was destroyed a few months ago, the rest got so angry that they ate alive the entire nearby town.

This zombie danse macabre can be observed in real life. The people sitting on the roof are United States taxpayers; the zombies gathered around are bankers screaming for more and more support; the taxpayers’ money is turning into zombie-food. The roof-commanders say: «We’ve got to feed them or they will come after us, shutting down credit to zero, selling all world assets, depressing prices to rock-bottom – and we all turn into financial zombies. There is no other option than to feed the zombies.»

And the new supplies keep coming. Ben is a very skilful helicopter pilot; his master manoeuvres always drop new zombie-food suppies in the right place, at about the right time. Ben has recently taken on a new crew-member, Barack, who came with a fresh idea to keep zombie-bankers away from the house: «Let’s feed them much more: maybe if they have lots of food, one by one they will transform back into humans».

But as time passed, zombie-bankers were joined by zombie car-manufactures, and with the death-virus spreading more zombies are on their way. Barack is undaunted. With Ben nodding beside him, he yells down to the beleaguered rooftop group: «No matter how many come, we will feed them to save you.»

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Volume 56, Number 5 • March 26, 2009

Capitalism Beyond the Crisis

By Amartya Sen

2008 was a year of crises. First, we had a food crisis, particularly threatening to poor consumers, especially in Africa. Along with that came a record increase in oil prices, threatening all oil-importing countries. Finally, rather suddenly in the fall, came the global economic downturn, and it is now gathering speed at a frightening rate. The year 2009 seems likely to offer a sharp intensification of the downturn, and many economists are anticipating a full-scale depression, perhaps even one as large as in the 1930s. While substantial fortunes have suffered steep declines, the people most affected are those who were already worst off.

The question that arises most forcefully now concerns the nature of capitalism and whether it needs to be changed. Some defenders of unfettered capitalism who resist change are convinced that capitalism is being blamed too much for short-term economic problems—problems they variously attribute to bad governance (for example by the Bush administration) and the bad behavior of some individuals (or what John McCain described during the presidential campaign as «the greed of Wall Street»). Others do, however, see truly serious defects in the existing economic arrangements and want to reform them, looking for an alternative approach that is increasingly being called «new capitalism.»

The idea of old and new capitalism played an energizing part at a symposium called «New World, New Capitalism» held in Paris in January and hosted by the French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the former British prime minister Tony Blair, both of whom made eloquent presentations on the need for change. So did German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who talked about the old German idea of a «social market»—one restrained by a mixture of consensus-building policies—as a possible blueprint for new capitalism (though Germany has not done much better in the recent crisis than other market economies).

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El flagelo de las hipotecas de alto riesgo

Por Randall Dodd y Paul Mills

Cualquiera de los innumerables problemas del mercado hipotecario de Estados Unidos se hubiese podido remediar, pero al conjugarse generaron una crisis que se propagó por todo el mundo.

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El Flajelo de las Hipotecas de Alto Riesgo (Dodd & Mills)

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