tv Boom Bust RT July 9, 2014 1:29am-2:01am EDT
from around the globe. hello there i'm marinating this is the boss and these are some of the stories that we're tracking for you today. first up well a very exciting world cup game is on right now between brazil and germany we appreciate you watching a live and first story here on boom bust optimism has returned but what was the price of this new cyclical upswing economics professor michael hudson way then coming right up and anthony randolph that was on the program today he's giving us his libertarian assessment on monetary policy over indebtedness and the financial instability that we just went through an intra day is a big deal edward harris and i are discussing time off the first of our work and what effect either actually has on output it all starts right now.
our lead story water now it's no secret that we are living in an increasingly water stressful world and that water resources are becoming an instrument of power for those who have them roughly sixty percent of all fresh water runs within cross border basins and only an estimated forty percent of those basins are governed by some sort of basin agreement basically those upstream hold all the cards while those downstream are the losers now the very scary part however is that our environmental security economic development and political stability or all greatly greatly dependent on the management of the world's watersheds now here's the
trillion dollar question though is water a commodity. as a commodity now as the demand for water grows and our water infrastructure crumbles the disturbing reality that our world is running out of bread drinkable water becomes more and more apparent and many believe that the problem can only be solved if cash strapped governments came up with angel investors and those in the private sector however not everyone believes such partnerships will ultimately improve access to those most at risk those being the poor the fear is that for a commodity with limitless demand and sharply diminishing supply markets it is markets are distorted and that could ultimately deprive the needy of one of life's most crucial crucial resources so in the short term it is apologies will suffer to california for example right now residents are being hit with fines for excess water use and businesses such as golf courses and long care centers are seen
revenue dry up due to water restrictions now it's a very small example of what will start happening on a more global level and while i know that today this isn't a runaway topic but the issue of fresh water is only going to keep coming up and those in the business of selling fresh water are likely to only get richer whether they be private or public dealing. because. the us economy has returned but what was the price of this new cyclical upswing yes it's true economic indicators have been improving job numbers look solid tax receipts are up but private debt levels remain high and wage growth remains very very low
now on top of all of this the federal reserve might be exacerbating the problem of financial instability by keeping rates low to get a better handle on this i spoke with dr michael hudson the president of the institute for the study of a long term economic trends and a professor of economics at the university of missouri kansas city now i first asked him what he thought about zero rates here's what he had to say. but i think it had a much wider report than that it was an all encompassing report i don't think it was criticizing syria right so much as saying that all of that debt had to be a matter of what even at the cost of depression and what it was advocating wasn't lower rates it was what they call libor reforms that means breaking up labor unions abolishing the workplace controls and essentially doing the opposite of everything the us was created to do in nineteen twenty nine do you think that we're going into
the ponzi phase of minsky's financial instability paradigm any time in the next few years what do you think. i think we are emerging from the sea fêtes ah the phases when you especially keep pushing up prices by borrowing and pulling in new money to make an exponential growth in asset prices and what we're seeing is just the opposite we're seeing the winding down of the. bank for international settlements reports poles that have balance sheet recession meaning it's debt deflation it's time to pay off all the debts that people and governments and economies ran into play the puns. now my colleague edward harrison says this is all about central banks taking on the heavy lifting because policymakers don't like using fiscal policy would you agree with that no the all intention of the bank for international settlements is to block governments and reducing because the policy
it still is very funny a year ago at the end you will meetings of the i.m.f. the i.m.f. finally broke with the european union and the european central bank and said we need to use fiscal policy to revive economies keynesian style the d.i.'s is saying exactly the opposite tighten fiscal policy squeeze out enough money to pay the creditors and that's exactly the opposite of all of the doctrine that the us was formed to to do to light and. germany's reparations debt in one thousand nine hundred ninety so michael you're actually agreeing with edwards that's kind of what insane now yeah that's right and we're just as pointed been pointing to the to the role of debt all are now i was wrong because as i understand it central banks want real estate prices to remain high so creditors cannot collect on their interest payments instead of having to write down on payable debt so isn't that
a central piece of why we're using monetary policy here. yes that's exactly correct but the banks aren't lending more to their mortgage credit they're using it to us speculate they're using it to lend to what third world countries do to foreign currency arbitrage and to buy bonds high yielding company countries and so we're having a bubble in the junk bond market not real estate now can you explain how real estate works in terms of land rent and the example of taxes and interest payments for creditors but can you explain it in layman terms because as i understand it so-called real estate investors want to pay all of their rent as interest to creditors so as to minimize their own equity stake maximizing gains from appreciation is that correct that's pretty much right. real estate is worth whatever a bank is going to linda against it so essentially suppose you're an absentee owner
it's easiest to understand that way. you look at how much rent a property will yield and you say you go to a bank and you try to bet against other people that are trying to borrow with a bank loan and the one or the bank loan is the one who's going to pay the most rent the bank is service to carry the mortgage so whoever will take out the largest mortgage gets to buy the property and as banks loosen the credit terms so lower the interest rates and make even easier credit or simply lie the winners are the people who go into the debt the most and that's what's led the economy into this balance sheet depression and it's this leverage now has this whole idea of leveraging up to gain from property prices appreciation relate to the housing bubble. well i suppose it used to be that people had to put down a homeowner would have to put down thirty percent of their income and they could
borrow seventy percent and limit the price rise according to you know how much could be paid but now by two thousand and seven two thousand and eight people could buy homes without putting any money down at all and the banks didn't even ask for amortization you have to pay off the mortgage in thirty years so the entire rental value either a rental value or if you're oman or the rental value of a home to you you can afford to pay all this money to the bank your debt service instead of having to pay down the loan and the banks at the same time bunkered a whole campaign they've got their real estate taxes and of the taxes that are left these that will cut real estate taxes to leave homeowners in a better position but every time they think real estate tax they're just meant that people pay buyers could use that's what's left to borrow even more money from the banks and go even further into debt so nobody really gained it all except for the
benefits so whatever cation does this have for the residential property market. well right now it means that there are not many people getting no loans and most of the residential properties in the last years have been bought not on with bank money but for all cash by ones that have come in and tried to buy up all of the distressed properties being subtle. right now they've sort of run their course know that enshrines and trying to sell out that individual style are able to get much credit for the property market there's not all that much instruction really taking place so rents are going up and prices are there is what there are warnings by moody's and by other investors there are dozens of that real estate prices are likely to go down because banks simply aren't lending that you describe what's happening in these markets is a case of renting a oligarchs extracting runs from the middle classes so is that the right
description of how you've been describing us. yes can you expand upon that all of that for me the idea of renting a yacht it means that iraq you know is somebody who lives off the other their rents or their income who is passive and around here the banks are really in the positions of landlords one hundred years ago the banks are get it used to be that the landlords get all the rest of today know that that property is all bought and sold really if you're a donald trump or if you're a real estate investor your motto is rent is for paying interest and so the banks end up with all of the rental value in the form of interest and the landlords are saying well look out we're welling to pay all the rent to the bankers and give them all the and what we want is the capital gain is the price of our property keep going up but right now the price of property isn't going up anymore there is no capital gain so there is no motivation for speculators to come in and borrow like
there was up to two thousand and eight not that time speculators were about one sixth of the market one of the day there are very little except the people buying for all ash and so you're the one whole character of the market has changed and. that was dr michael hudson the president of the institute for the study of long term economic trends. time now for a very quick break but stick around because when i return anthony randolph there will be on the show now anthony is the director of economics and economic research at the reason foundation and he's weighing in on monetary policy over indebtedness and financial instability that in today's big deal edward harris and i are discussing time often versus hours worked and what effect either of them actually have on output and remember you can see also i've been featured in the show on you tube at you tube dot com and give it you tube dot com slash room bust r t there's
let's say. this case is. sometimes for nothing. it's not just the story you'll be shocked if you see the state take the. but. it's not the beginning of the end but rather the end of the beginning as ukraine civil war deepens so does the divide to end this invented crisis the europeans and russian seek a diplomatic resolution calls for more bot. i think. i would like to do it if you could you know the price is the only industry
specifically mentioned in the constitution and. that's because a free and open press is critical to our democracy right albus. well. in fact the single biggest threat facing our nation today is the corporate takeover of our government and across several we've been hijacked right handful of transnational corporations that will profit by destroying what our founding fathers once the old testament by john mark and on this show we reveal the big picture of what's actually going on in the world we go beyond identifying the problem to try rational debate and real discussion critical issues facing our young for ready to join the movement then welcome the.
welcome back to the senate now before the break you heard from michael hudson on the b i asked report but i want to get a more libertarian perspective on monetary policy overindebtedness and financial instability so earlier i spoke with anthony randolph the director of economic research at the reason foundation and i first asked him what a fax zero or near zero rates have an asset prices here's what he had to say. first i think that the b.o.'s is absolutely correct and basically telling policymakers they need to start looking more long term easy money policy around the world has created all this big capital misallocation and that is created some severe problems for global economic stability easy money policy may not be creating problems for tomorrow but for several months from now or in the next several years when we face major economic crisis it's going to be because. what we have done today or what we might not do and what policymakers probably aren't going to do is listen to the b i
yes and it's because this is not the first time to be i said this and this because they have political incentives to really only look to the short term what should policymakers do i think it's very simple and to start backing off of easy monetary policy well they do it i have very little hope that they will. now here's out part two of my two part question you know if the fed is causing asset bubbles what tools does it have to work against those bubbles you know janet yellen says that macro prudential regulation is the way to go but what do you think anthony. so has is tools at earth centrally trying to fine tune in deal with all manner of sort of outside shocks to the system that they are all about trying to pump money into place where it wants to go but that really is assuming that they know everything that's going to happen before it's going to happen which they basically can't do the financial stability oversight council which is something that the dot frank act is geared towards macroeconomic stability yellen is whole
objective with her philosophy approach in the fed is macro economic stability and both of those assume that stability is a good thing stability sounds great and it's something that we maybe intuitively might want but when instability means allowing for some severe problems that exist major obstacles that exist in the financial sector to remain put just the goal of trying to avoid sharp crash in the market or people having to deal with economic pain in the short term then we actually wind up hurting ourselves in the long run. now and today's monetary policy environment ultra easy version of the last two low rate regimes which ended both of them on one with the tech bubble and one with the housing bubble i think that it's going to be related to the last two struggles but what we saw in the financial crisis two thousand and eight wasn't necessarily an easy money bubble because of how related it was to find it to the housing sector
whereas today we're seeing is easy money policy inflating a credit bubble as well as an equity bubble. bubble as well as an equity bubble and so we've got stock markets which is higher than otherwise should be but the way that people have early. defined the wall street has been sort of investing that easy money is a different way then the money was to distribute during the housing bubble so it's going to look different the results of his going to look different it may not be the same it's not because of the same it's not because of easy money or the two thousand a crisis wasn't because of just easy money but we still might wind up getting pain feeling pain in the exact same way now paul krugman thinks the b. i asked is out to lunch basically and let me read you a quote that he writes now quote what the b. i asked is arguing is that there is some other appropriate rate defined as a rate sufficiently high to discourage bubbles and that central banks should target
this rate even though it is above the selling in natural order or equivalent that the economy should be kept permanently depressed in order to curb the irrational exuberance of investors now is common right. who is not right basically does not worry about sovereign debt and that's a fundamental difference from the big says is that policymakers are looking short term so they don't care about indebtedness and so they are not worried about how that my how massive amounts of debt my completely mis allocate capital throughout the economy. thinks that we should just be looking short term and doesn't worry about the same way to be so that fundamental difference is where he's going to sort of push back i disagree with kirkman i think that sovereign debt does influence the economy i think it does influence investors i think it does influence the way capital is allocated and right now we don't have an economy that's allocating capital towards a robust development of new businesses that are going to be for the twenty first
century we're much more focused on how to grow the economy in two thousand and fifteen than we are in thinking about what's necessary for the economy to grow in twenty twenty five and twenty fifty and think why are we in a situation where the fed the e.c.b. the bank japan the bank of england and the swiss national bank have policy rates at or near zero and growth just still isn't taking off is it a case of the wrong tools or are things that bad. well we're in this place because this is how governments decided to respond to the global financial crisis sort of kicked off in two thousand and seven and supposedly wound up and ing in two thousand and nine and policymakers sort of got themselves stuck let's not forget that low who are using money means that we've got low borrowing costs for governments so there's there's no way that janet yellen isn't considering. the low borrowing costs for the u.s. government that are related to easy money so i think that what we have is
a whole bunch of central banks that essentially find themselves stuck in a position that they put themselves in because they didn't want to just lets financial pain work out misallocated capital in the first place we wanted to try and bridge this gap we wanted to try and get ourselves to fast growing global economy without having to go through the economic pain to get there because we had all this misallocated capital from bubbles that built up in the early part of the last decade and the result has been is that we just created our photo recovery for ourselves and now we have central banks that are stuck in a position where they don't see any way out without troubling their political partners in their in in the governments where the central banks are located and in the financial sectors that they're sort of of patrons. that was. director of economic research at the reason foundation time now for today's big deal.
big deal time when edward harris and i are talking about how much you work and what optimal trade off between leisure and productivity is what is the optimal tradeoff i think i got there and we want to get started off with you know germany and germans now you've lived and worked in germany as i understand it and you know can you just talk to me about how many annual days of leave germans tend to get and what their idea of a vacation versus work and time allotted to both is like so in germany or actually in europe in general i think you know you're getting at least four weeks most puts get five including this in the u.k. and france and so forth but the germans get up to six so they give you thirty days plus ten days of actual vacation holidays you know like christmas and new year's
and so forth so we had forty days off but the thing is that you know my general observation when i was in germany is that they're very strict not just about making sure that they have fun on their vacation and take their full forty days but also when they're at work working hard and then when the hour that's it they call it that and then they go home where they call. it. so you know they work hard and they have a high productivity rate if we take a look at some of the stuff that yeah let's get a comparison here now we have a table of hours worked and you know can you can you kind of germans they work almost four hundred hours less than americans do and that's like working. fifty working days a year. something i got up there out of committee it's obviously still quite high and i say my friend so what do you make of this you know what accounts for such a huge disparity that we're seeing where you know there are
a number of things that stand out for me one is the low productivity rates in career and greece the second is the few hours worked in france and germany but the huge number of hours working career and then followed by greece and then the united states and finally also the productivity level that's so high in the united states i mean if you put all that together as a composite picture basically what you're seeing is that the u.s. works a lot of hours relative to other countries doesn't get a whole lot of occasion and has huge productivity at the same time i mean it's not shocking to me and i have to ask you you know there's a difference between just working a lot and working smart in your opinion having done both you live here you've lived in germany you know what it's like you but also a couple other cities and europe what you think is a more efficient way to work even on a personal level and i don't all time low anecdotally what i would say is that you know what will let me back it up and say that you know there was a study that was done at dartmouth dartmouth college university study of four or
five years ago which showed that the europeans actually worked more than the americans up to. forty years ago and then as time went on they started to work less and they were taking a lot of their wealth gains and in terms of leisure but what we saw over that period of time because of the accumulated capital and sophistication of those markets the level of productivity did not decline significantly so you know france and germany if you look to that last chart had very high productivity levels compared to the united states they were somewhere in the order of ninety to ninety five percent but you know they worked many fewer hours which meant that rather than work more and therefore make more they've decided that you know from a personal. perspective they would much rather have leisure and you know basically the whole. is off in the last month of august you know if you try to drive through
france to go to spain which i've done before basically is just like gridlock half the time because everyone is often doing the exact same thing that you're doing something that's terrible idea first and you know another interesting example is korea greece now in terms of hours work they're about the same but chris productivity is significantly lower than greece and yet everyone says that you know the greeks are lazy and the koreans work hard so i want to ask you what's your view are greeks just getting a bad rap here do they really deserve this reputation on some level i think they are getting about you know it was really interesting. you know on the credit right down so i released a stat from this it was actually mark chandler who came up with this and everyone was like no it can't be true and they were making all sorts of reasons why it isn't true but the fact of the matter is the greeks do work long hours but you know the productivity levels are not the silly indicative of they're not working while they're at work but rather it has something to do with the capital investment within that country and in terms of being able to how much predict productive
investment you've done in order to make sure that those hours worked to the g.d.p. of the country now let's quickly talk about the u.s. the u.s. doesn't have any statutory minimum annual leave but a study of employees found that full time workers an average of sixteen days off and we work hard but we're also the most productive we're also the most productive but compared to france or germany it's not a huge amount so are we trading time for money what's your view here we have a ten second my view yeah very much so i think that's become a part of the culture to the point where you think i have to work hard if i don't work hard and you know take almost less vacation that i do that i'm not a good worker and most important thing in life is time i should think so but we're out of it that's a hope for now you can we love hearing from you please check out our christian faith based back. cobbs that's been most r t and you can also tweet us at our need of edward any from all of us here who must thank you for watching on c.n.n. .
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this is why you should care only. civilian life is said to the limits in eastern ukraine as government forces to the regions of. dead. the number of palestinian casualties or. its attacks on new targets while building up forces for a possible ground invasion. from the latest n.s.a. scandal which revealed a possible double agent spying on berlin for washington sees a german public demanding the country distance itself from what was supposed to be trusted. and washington that leaves moscow in a minute.