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Monday, 11 January

16:11

Globalisation and currency arrangements Bill Mitchell – billy blog

In today’s blog, I continue the discussion that I started last Thursday, and, specifically, focus on the critique that commentators have made about the loss of state control of their economies as a result of globalisation. The thesis advanced by many analysts is that globalisation has reduced the capacity of the nation-state and forced governments to adopt free market policies at the microeconomic level and austerity at the macroeconomic level, for fear that capital flight will destroy their economies. It is a neatly packaged thesis that the political Left has imbibed, and, in doing so, has undermined the progressive basis of these institutions and left voters with little choice between right-wing parties and the social democratic parties who formally represented the interests of workers and acted as mediators in the class conflict between labour and capital. The major distinguishing feature these days between these two types of parties, who were previously poles apart in approach and mandate sought, is that the so-called progressive side of politics now claims it will implement austerity in a fairer way. These austerity-lite parties, buying into the myth that globalisation has undermined the capacity of the state to pursue full employment policies with equitable income distribution, do not challenge the basis of austerity, but just quibble over who should pay for it. The aim of this research which will appear in my next book (with co-author Thomas Fazi) is to outline a manifesto by which progressive activists and political movements can claim back the space the current generation of sham progressives have ceded to the neo-liberals.

The gold standard and beyond – constraints on sovereignty

The significant aspect of this research that is often lost these type of discussions is that the monetary system in most countries changed dramatically from August 1971 when the US president Richard Nixon abandone...

14:26

Sandpit John Quiggin

A new sandpit for long side discussions, idees fixes and so on. Discussions about climate policy and related issues can be posted here, along with the usual things.

14:25

Monday Message Board John Quiggin

Another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

14:25

The Great War of 1911 (crosspost from Crooked Timber) John Quiggin

I recently read Time and Time Again by Ben Elton. It’s about a time traveller who returns to 1914 Europe, aiming to prevent the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and, therefore, the Great War. Of course, the war isn’t prevented, and it turns out that there are vast numbers of timelines flowing from the summer of 1914, all more or less disastrous. This has inspired me to draft an alternate history I’ve long had in mind, where the War starts in 1911, as a result of the Agadir crisis.

I’ve changed the dates of some actual events, and the outcomes of some internal political debates, to bring more aggressive leaders and policies to the fore. I’ve also borrowed one improbable event from an earlier war. Still, the result seems to me no more improbable than the actual genesis of the War, beginning with the fatal wrong turn by Franz Ferdinand’s driver. Feel free to disagree, or to fill in some details of your own.

The Great War of 1911

Looking back at the Great War raises lots of questions. Was it, as most observers concluded in the aftermath of the war, the inevitable product of a clash of rival imperialisms, or of rising class tensions. Or should we prefer the views of the revisionists who stress the war guilt of the Entente powers, and particularly of France? Or was it, perhaps, a tragic and avoidable accident?

Starting with the now-dominant revisionist case, there’s no doubt that French aggression against Morocco, going back to the first Moroccan crisis of 1905-06, was the proximate cause of the war. Not content with the effective control over Moroccan affairs gained in that episode, France used the rebellion against the Sultan to es...

12:47

Australian cleantech stocks continue to outperform main indices Renew Economy

Australian CleanTech Index again outperformed the ASX200 for both the month and the quarter.

12:04

U.S. coal production dropped to 30-year low in 2015 Renew Economy

Coal production in the U.S. has dropped to its lowest level in 30 years thanks in part to low natural gas prices and climate policies.

09:26

Stiglitz says TPP threatens health, environment laws and Paris accord AFTINET

January 10, 2016: Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz writes that the TPP faces an uphill battle for US ratification, opposed  by all  leading Democratic presidential candidates and many  Republicans. The TPP severely constrains environmental, health, and safety regulation, and even financial regulations with significant macroeconomic impacts.

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Sunday, 10 January

01:35

Asia’s Stock Winners and Losers The Diplomat » Pacific Money

It’s been a rough start to the year. What lies ahead?

Friday, 08 January

12:16

Mining company suit against US government tar sands decision shows TPP threat AFTINET

January 9, 2016: The  Huffington Post  reports that just two months after the Obama administration rejected TransCanada's bid to build the dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline - a landmark victory for the movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground - the Canadian corporation announced it will retaliate by using ISDS in NAFTA, a TPP-like trade deal,

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