Debt Relief for Whom? Part II

Christopher Leonard explains how Federal Reserve bailouts “went to large corporations that used borrowed money to buy out their competitors; it went to the very richest of Americans who owned the majority of assets; it went to the riskiest of financial speculators on Wall Street, who use borrowed money to build fragile positions in global markets;and it went to the very largest of U.S. banks, whose bigness and inability to fail was now an article of faith.” . . . → Read More: Debt Relief for Whom? Part II

Debt Relief for Whom? Part I

The student debt burden has grown from about $481 billion in 2006 to $1,476 billion in 2022. Just wiping it all out would be unfair, because more than half is owed to relatively-high income professionals. Richard Vague proposes that the federal government should expand an existing program, to allow such students “work off” their debt in public service such as providing health care in under-served areas. READ MORE about Vague’s Debt Jubilee proposals for student debt, medical debt, mortgages that exceed home values, bankruptcy reform, and more on Dollars & Sense. . . . → Read More: Debt Relief for Whom? Part I

John Perkins’ New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man

My father retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 1970, shortly before John Perkins began his career as an economic consultant— “economic hit man”— with the engineering firm, MAIN. Perkins traveled to Indonesia, Panama, Colombia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. His job was to convince leaders to undertake wildly overambitious infrastructure projects that would enrich them and big U.S. engineering firms like Bechtel. In most cases, the projects would fail and leave nations beholden to US banks or the World Bank. Saudi Arabia was a special case; the flood of dollars from the new OPEC cartel would purchase both sophisticated infrastructure like desalinization plants and U.S. military protection against insurgents. Leaders who refused to cooperate with such plans would be picked off by CIA-supported “jackals”. Perkins originally published his story in his 2005 bestseller; he now updates the story with examples from developed countries, such as projects that sucker local governments into building public-private toll roads. Looking back, I realize that my dad knew a lot more about such activities than he let on… . . . → Read More: John Perkins’ New Confessions of an Economic Hit Man