Catalogue


The evil axis of finance : the US-Japan-China stranglehold on the global future /
Richard Westra.
imprint
Atlanta, GA : Clarity Press, c2012.
description
244 p. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0932863906 (pbk.), 9780932863904 (pbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Atlanta, GA : Clarity Press, c2012.
isbn
0932863906 (pbk.)
9780932863904 (pbk.)
catalogue key
8405912
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 213-239) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Richard Westra is Designated Associate Professor of Political Science, Graduate School of Law, Nagoya University, Japan. His recent books include: Political Economy and Globalization, Frontiers of Political Economy Series, Paperbacks Direct, and Confronting Global Neoliberalism: Third World Resistance and Development Strategies. He received his PhD from Queens University, Canada.
First Chapter
In 2006-7 through the darkest days of the 2008-9 meltdown into this second decade of the 21st century, waves of financial and systemic crises have swept the world. First came trillions of dollars in emergency first aid for "victims” - Wall Street's private multinational banks and financial intermediaries, insurance companies and mortgage lenders, as well as assorted non-financial multinational corporations. Second, the blame game: Was it the fault of snoozing regulators, rating agency conflict of interest, a "shadow banking system” of derivatives traders, delusions of ivy league "quants”, Ponzi-scheming criminals, or some combination of them? Third, were surveys of spreading mass public trauma: collapse of local banks, burgeoning personal debt peonage, increasing homelessness and spiraling unemployment in the US and elsewhere. ..But, as entertaining a read as the mélange of meltdown literature has been, the pages go blank at precisely that point where they should be elucidating what is really both the crux and the darkest side of the story. The task taken up by this book is to fill in those blank pages. Such an enterprise is most pressing because without crisp clarity on the real workings, actual purpose and endgame of what we blithely refer to as the "global economy” we will find ourselves being lulled into complacency by such widely acclaimed policy proposals as "small government”, "tax cuts”, "quantitative easing (QE)”,2 Basel III,3 EU bond issuance or combinations of these even partially ameliorating our abysmal current economic condition.The plain fact of the matter is that scholars and pundits alike have never stopped to ask, much less answer, a set of searching questions like: How did such an enchanted world come to pass where even after the US-originated 2008-9 meltdown, trillions of dollars of global wealth continue to be driven away from a myriad of other potential investment destinations and right back to a Wall Street centered casino? How are we to understand the very existence of such an ever bloating ocean of funds in economies, the centerpiece and forte of which across the past two centuries has been the production and satisfying of social demand for mass produced material goods? What if any is the relationship between the tides of money sloshing through Wall Street (along with global satellites in London, Zurich, Singapore, Tokyo, etc.), and the "real” substantive economy of production and trade?
Reviews
Review Quotes
"This is the best researched and hardest hitting book yet written on what Westra so aptly refers to as "rotating meltdowns" caused by High Finance's irresponsible expansion of and gambling with debt." Robert Albritton, Professor Emeritus York University
" a brilliant analysis of the political economy performance of global capitalism... a must-read for those interested in financial dominance over production and society and how to rectify the situation." Dr Phillip O'Hara,President-Elect Association for Evolutionary Economics;
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, June 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Why, despite the existence of raft of potential international investment outlets, is a major share of global wealth and savings impelled toward a United States (US) Wall Street-centered casino ? Why has an increasingly gaping chasm crystallized between ever bloating global financial activities and the "real" world economy of production and trade? How is it that wealthygovernments'injecting trillions of dollars into stumbling financial sectors across the globe is failing to create one new decent job? This book connects the dots linking the 2008 meltdown--and over a decade of dress rehearsals for it--to a rigged global financial game that is unraveling the very foundations of modernity. This game cemented US international dominance even as it simultaneously attained the status of world's principal debtor economy. In a nutshell, the rigged global game undergirding Axis power is that of dollar seigniorage. The US furnishes international money for the cost of running a printing presswhile the rest of the world produces goods and services, competing to push wages to the bottom to accessthose dollars. Select states, predominately Japan and China (though others as well), thenstore the surpluses they amass in dollar denominated savings. The US access to investment capitalthrough little substantive economic effort, as it in fact incurs exponentially burgeoning debt,underpinned its seemingly out-of-this-world economic performance across the 1990s and early21st century.The book deftly explores the set of momentous though largely unrecognized consequences forthe global future which flow from this rigged game.
Main Description
Richard Westra's "The Evil Axis of Finance" fills in pages left blank in the flurry of meltdown writings with a highly accessible account of the insidious forces at work in the global economy. Westra explains, why, despite the existence of a raft of potential international investment outlets, a major share of global wealth and savings is still impelled toward the highly dubious Wall Street-centred casino; why an increasingly gaping chasm has opened up between ever bloating global financial activities and the "real" world economy of production and trade; why wealthy governments' injection of trillions of dollars into stumbling financial sectors across the globe is failing to create decent new jobs; and, why, nonetheless, this remains the preferred solution. He exposes the destructive systemic conditions that make it possible for the US and Wall Street to play a central role in international economic affairs when the US has the world's largest national debt, a gaping trade deficit, an ongoing capital account deficit, an exploding budget deficit, and personal savings hovering near zero. The story Westra tells of international economic depredation and humanity's stolen future is truly chilling. From its Wall Street command centre, and funded by Japan and China, the United States ensnares the world's states and people in a sinister, rigged, zero-sum game. This game, played for the narrowest of ends and to the benefit of an international cohort of uber-rich, traps humanity in a twilight zone of long decay, with its major players intent on preventing a more equitable international order from emerging from the detritus. We ignore the arguments of "The Evil Axis of Finance" at our peril.
Main Description
Why, despite the existence of raft of potential international investment outlets, is a major share of global wealth and savings impelled toward a United States (US) Wall Street-centered casino ? Why has an increasingly gaping chasm crystallized between ever bloating global financial activities and the "real" world economy of production and trade? How is it that wealthy governments'injecting trillions of dollars into stumbling financial sectors across the globe is failing to create one new decent job? This book connects the dots linking the 2008 meltdown--and over a decade of dress rehearsals for it--to a rigged global financial game that is unraveling the very foundations of modernity. This game cemented US international dominance even as it simultaneously attained the status of world's principal debtor economy. In a nutshell, the rigged global game undergirding Axis power is that of dollar seigniorage. The US furnishes international money for the cost of running a printing press while the rest of the world produces goods and services, competing to push wages to the bottom to access those dollars. Select states, predominately Japan and China (though others as well), then store the surpluses they amass in dollar denominated savings. The US access to investment capital through little substantive economic effort, as it in fact incurs exponentially burgeoning debt, underpinned its seemingly out-of-this-world economic performance across the 1990s and early 21st century. The book deftly explores the set of momentous though largely unrecognized consequences for the global future which flow from this rigged game.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 15
The "Free World" Design for Prosperityp. 29
Constituents of a New Real Economyp. 31
The Golden Age Algorithmp. 47
Japan and China in the Future Perfect Tensep. 50
Anticommunism and the Rebirth of Japan in the "Free World"p. 52
"Free World" Exclusion and the Rise of Mao Zedong Chinap. 60
From Golden Age to Globalizationp. 71
What Goes Upp. 72
The US at the Global Crossroads, But Hardly Sinking Downp. 80
Idle Money is the Devil's Playgroundp. 93
"Resident Evil"p. 97
"Fists Full of Dollars"p. 106
Rotating Meltdownsp. 115
"Banksta's Paradise"p. 120
"For a Few Dollars More"p. 135
The Chains of Chinap. 146
The Chinese Connectionp. 150
Charles Dickens Meets Henry Ford at the Pearl River Deltap. 161
Red Queen, White Queenp. 165
The Armageddon Trifectap. 174
The Tea Party is Overp. 181
The End of Foodp. 197
No "Day After Tomorrow"p. 204
Conclusion: Whither The Exits?p. 209
Endnotesp. 213
Indexp. 240
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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