Economics - Aug 4
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Many more articles are available through the Energy Bulletin homepage
China's debt paints ugly picture
Gulf News, Reuters
On the surface, China presents a fiscal study in contrast with the United States, keeping a remarkably low ceiling on debt even as it spends its way out of the financial crisis...
...Thanks to successive years of fast economic growth and even faster government revenue growth, the official debt-to-GDP ratio was 17.7 per cent at the end of last year, far lower than almost any other major economy.
The trouble is that excludes local government borrowing, the current surge in loans backstopped by Beijing and bad assets cleared from the banking system but still floating about...
(27 July 2009)
Manipulated Government GDP Statistics Report is Just Plain Wrong
Dr. Chris Martenson, blog
The GDP report was released this morning and it was a compendium of incomprehensible and illogical numbers and, worse, it is just plain wrong.
Of course, since so much rides on an accurate assessment of our true economic state of affairs, it behooves us to make sense of it as best we can, understanding that the GDP report is less than perfect and riddled with difficult-to-rationalize statistical manipulations and quirky additions.
For example, the imputed value of "owner occupied housing" is a non-cash 'addition' to GDP meant to capture the value that people derive from their houses, due to the fact that they own them and do not pay rent to themselves in order to live there. If this does not make sense to you, that means you are normal.
So we gamely march off into the most current GDP report, which came out this morning (Friday, July 31, 2009), mostly to expose just how wrong it is.
(31 July 2009)
About Dr. Chris Martenson (from the Market Oracle website):
Dr Martenson is the creator of The End of Money economic seminar series, and has extensive experience analyzing and communicating financial information. Dr. Martenson combines a scientist's attention to fact and analysis (PhD, Duke University, Pathology and Toxicology) with a solid understanding of finance and economics (MBA, Cornell, Finance) with strategic thinking (4 years as a management consultant) to produce an insightful and powerful lecture. He is currently devoted to researching, writing and presenting economic and financial analyses delivering his message via his website, lecture series and is currently working on a related book & movie.
From Chris' website:
This blog post is an example of the daily writing I do for enrolled members in the In Session forum area. I wanted to get this one out to everyone because it deserves to be widely read and discussed. If you are interested in reading and discussing news in real-time, I invite you to consider enrolling.
Chris is well-known for his Economics Crash Course, which he offers as a free resource on his website. "The Crash Course seeks to provide you with a baseline understanding of the economy so that you can better appreciate the risks that we all face." -KS
Q&A: 'Time to De-Grow'
Claudia Ciobanu interviews economist Serge Latouche, IPS
Serge Latouche, professor emeritus of economic science at the University of Paris-Sud, is one of the main proponents of "the society of de-growth".
He calls for "abandoning the objective of growth for growth's sake, an insane objective, with disastrous consequences for the environment." The need for a 'de-growth' society stems from the certainty, he says, that the earth's resources and natural cycles cannot sustain the economic growth which is the essence of capitalism and modernity.
In place of the current dominant system, Latouche argues for "a society of assumed sobriety; to work less in order to live better lives, to consume less products but of better quality, to produce less waste and recycle more."
The new society would mean "recuperating a sense of measure and a sustainable ecological footprint," Latouche says, "and finding happiness in living together with others rather than in the frantic accumulation of gadgets."
Author of many books and articles on Western rationality, the myth of progress, colonialism and post-development, Serge Latouche describes the main principles of the de-growth society in his books 'Le Pari de la Décroissance'(The Bet of De-Growth) and 'Petit Traité de la Décroissance Sereine" (Small Treaty of Peaceful De-Growth) published in 2006 and 2007.
Serge Latouche spoke to IPS correspondent Claudia Ciobanu about de-growth society.
(3 August 2009)
Damien Perrotin's recent piece on EB "Demise of the Middle Class" mentions degrowth as a negative development in recent leftist thought in France. He does not explain his reasoning for this, however. -KS