We were remiss in not mentioning last week that Eric Alterman had selected A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey for his ‘Altercation bookclub.’ His post includes a juicy excerpt from the book and promises a vigorous ‘argument.’ Here is just one part:
The financial crises that have so frequently preceded the predatory raiding of whole state economics by superior financial powers have usually been characterized by chronic economic imbalances. The typical signs are soaring and uncontrollable internal budgetary deficits, a balance of payments crisis, rapid currency depreciation, unstable valuations of internal assets (for example in property and financial markets), rising inflation, rising unemployment with falling wages, and capital flight. Of these seven main indicators the US now has the distinction of scoring high on the first three and there are serious concerns with respect to the fourth. The current ‘jobless recovery’ and stagnant wages suggest incipient problems with the sixth. Such a mix of indicators elsewhere would almost certainly have necessitated IMF intervention (and IMF economists are on record, as are both former and current Federal Reserve chairs Volcker and Greenspan, complaining that the economic imbalances within the US are threatening global stability). But since the US dominates the IMF this means nothing more than that the US should discipline itself, and that appears unlikely.