Category Archives: Banks

Greece, Destroyer of Worlds.

Eurozone map in 2009 Category:Maps of the Eurozone

Since the end of the Cold War, the nations of the world have become increasingly interdependent. Interdependency is the idea that relations among states within the international system are mutually dependent and inextricably tied together. In theory, interdependency will lead to peace as war among the dependent nations is no longer feasible. A perfect example is the European Union and its pacifying impact on Europe. The history of Europe is as long as it is violent. Nevertheless, the region has been relatively peaceful ever since the nations of Europe became economically interdependent.

However, interdependency has a dark side. In this new era of globalization, sovereign nations can find themselves held hostage by the economic policies of other states. Imagine the impact on the world economy if Saudi Arabia decided to cease all oil production or if the United States instituted a trade embargo on all foreign products. The current Greece debt crisis is a real-world example of how the economic policies of one nation can severely hamper the economies of the entire Euro-zone, the United States, and the world.

With the aftermath of the recent economic recession and the impact of international trade agreements on domestic economies, should not the United States, as well as the nations of the world, strive to be self-sufficient?

–TERRANCE MULLINS

Workers of America Unite; You Have Nothing To Lose But Your Chains!

Communism is an economic and socio-political theory proposed by Karl Marx that aims for a classless society structured on the end of wage labor and private property. Communist theory states that the main producers of wealth in society are the working class who are also perpetually exploited and marginalized by the unproductive capitalist owners of production. According to Marx, the only way to solve the problems caused by capitalism is for the working class to unite and overthrow the capitalist system itself via violent revolution.

For Marx, the end of capitalism is inevitable as the class conflict between those who have and those who have not caused by capitalism will ultimately lead to its destruction. However, class conflict in the United States is practically nonexistent as the American working-class has been tricked into accepting blame for the nation’s economic woes. The middle-class is too busy blaming middle-class pension plans and labor unions to remember the upper-class  actually caused the great recession. As it stands now, public teachers and firefighters are to blame not private bankers or hedge managers. Not surprisingly, no one from the public sector has been prosecuted for the illegal activities that ultimately caused the economic recession.

CNN’s Lisa Desjardins posted a blog examining what the current deficit debate is really about and the consequences each plan would certainly have for middle-class Americans. However, how democratic is the United States when justice, safety, education, health-care, and representation are determined by ones economic class? The American people have stood idly by for decades as:

  • Corporate lobbyists maintain more influence in Congress than the American people
  • The U.S. Congress facilitates the outsourcing of American middle-class jobs
  • Corporations receive bailouts and/or subsidies devoid of strings
  • Tax cuts for the extremely wealthy are paid for by cutting services for the poor and elderly
  • Colossal military spending goes unimpeded while the average American soldier is underpaid

How can the average worker achieve the “American dream” within the current capitalist system? Should the American working-class  consider communism as a viable option?

–TERRANCE MULLINS

TARP: Government Bailout or Rescue?

The $700 billion government bailout of the financial system ends on October 3. The debate continues as to whether the program benefited Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.  Republicans try to capitalize on the unpopularity of the program in an election year while Democrats are forced to defend the program as having saved the country from another Great Depression. This article sheds light on the contending opinions over the program. (9/30/10 ABC News, Matthew Jaffe) … Read Article

1. What, according to the Congressional Oversight Panel, is the greatest consequence of the TARP?

2. Why is the TARP unpopular among many taxpayers?

(Video)Banks Vs. Credit Unions: What’s the Difference?

The recent financial fiasco with big banks leaves consumers now having a second thought about doing business with banks. The Early Show’s financial contributor Vera Gibbons compares banks and credit unions. Would a credit union be a better alternative for you? (12/17/2009 CBSNewsOnline)

1. How would you determine which credit union to join. What are some specific signs to look for?

2. Compare bank and credit union rates for car loans and home loans as reported in the video. How do credit unions compare with banks in overall satisfaction rate?

Finally, Wall Street Reform: No More Bailouts?

President Obama today applauded the Senate for passing a sweeping overhaul of Wall Street regulations, and said he looks forward to signing it next week. “There will be no more taxpayer-funded bailouts – period.” (7/15/10 ABC News, Matthew Jaffe) … Read Article

1. Discuss Simon Johnson’s criticism of the financial reform bill.

2. Discuss the Republicans’ criticism of the financial reform bill.

Generation Y Risks Becoming “Lost Generation?”

With one in five Gen Yers unable to find work, a new “lost generation” may be in the making in Europe. Policymakers fear long-term unemployment could diminish the generation’s future prospects on the labor market. (7/24/09 ABC News, Mark Scott) … Read Article

1. “Delorme is typical of Europe’s Gen Y these days.” Discuss the employment condition of Europe’s Gen Y compared to that of the U.S.

2. Discuss the efforts made by governments in Europe to mitigate the effects of the economic crisis.

(Video)World Economic Summit: Leaders Declare War on Deficit Spending

Wary of slamming on the stimulus brakes too quickly but shaken by the European debt crisis, world leaders pledged Sunday to slash government deficits in the most industrialized nations in half by 2013, with wiggle room to meet the goal. (6/27/10 Associated Press, Mark Smith)

1. Discuss how this year’s summit marks a shift from the last summit in Pittsburg.

2. Discuss the signs that G20 leaders declared war on government debt at the summit.